Intercollegiate league, Mineski seek to institutionalize college esports in new partnership

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2020 03:37 PM | Updated as of Feb 27 2020 04:05 PM

(L-R) PCCL Chairman Rey Gamboa, former Gilas coach and PCCL Esports President Chot Reyes and Mineski Global CEO and founder Ronald Robins announcing the partnership between PCCL and Mineski. Handout

MANILA -- Esports company Mineski and the Philippine Collegiate Champions' League (PCCL) on Wednesday announced they had forged a partnership seeking to institutionalize interschool college competitive gaming programs nationwide. 

Part of this is an interschool tournament involving some 1,000 tertiary schools all over the country, Mineski’s chief executive Ronald Robins said in a press conference formally announcing the partnership. 

Among their plans is to go to schools and convince them to form their own teams. They also plan to talk to parents to allow their children to participate. 

“There’s going to be a joint planning with the PCCL committee, and it’s going to be done in schools and is designed to communicate with [parents and school officials],” Reyes said. 

Parents of potential athletes and school officials will be made to participate in workshops and seminars. Collegiate esports athletes will also undergo device regulation trainings. 

Robins said PCCL’s involvement with 35 local leagues pushed them to forge a partnership with the intercollegiate league in formulating the esports program. The partnership, according to Robins, is a “long-term engagement” involving the institutionalization of competitive gaming in schools. 

The partnership seeks to provide esports equipment and “laboratories” or training hubs for interested teams. Modules will also be provided for participating players, Robins added. 

“We are providing for state-of-the-art esports equipment or consoles. We’re also going to be promoting homegrown athletes. Those who will be representing their schools will be provided facilities where they can actually train for free. And we’re going to be creating esports laboratories and they (schools) could be able to teach game development in there," Robins said. 

Organizers said they are pushing for “career sustainability” programs that provide opportunities for players after their collegiate esports careers. 

Robins said they have decided to have two games for the inaugural tournament. Schools are allowed to field in one team per game. 

Tournament organizers have been banking on the successful esports stint of Philippine national team Sibol in the Southeast Asian Games as they formulated the program.

PCCL chairman Rey Gamboa said the SEA Games “opened the eyes of many,” pushing them to organize the collegiate tournament for competitive gaming. 

“This is a new field where student-athletes can excel, can win honors, can win medals, not only for their school but also for their country,” Gamboa said. 

“This opens an opportunity for career. So it not only opens a career in basketball, volleyball, or football. It is now an opportunity for career in esports,” he added. 

Sibol, the country’s representatives to the SEA Games, won three golds, one silver, and one bronze medal during the tournament. 

The date of the tournament -- which will be called the National Intercollegiate Cyber League -- along with the participating game titles, have yet to be announced. 

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