You’re missing out if you’re not following this intra-college competition that's as fierce as the UAAP
One of the biggest e-sports in the world is League of Legends, a 5v5 team strategy game where players control champions that duke it out in the Summoner’s Rift.
While the Philippine professional LoL teams have not quite made it to LoL’s annual World Championship Series, back home we have an LCL of our own. Introducing the League of Legends Philippine Collegiate League, where teams representing universities play in televised (well, streamed online) and commentated games to win the Philippine LCL trophy!
Just Like The NBA
The Philippine LCL is a massive tournament that spans the entire country. It is currently in the middle of its fourth season, the 2016 Summer Term and it’s bigger than ever. Where before it got by on a 16, then eventually 32-team group stages, it now uses the conference format that other professional sports, like the NBA use. The Philippines has been divided into 6 regional Conference Divisions, namely Northern Luzon, Metro East, Metro West, Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
First off, if multiple teams from the same school apply, a single-elimination qualifiers is held for that school. Then, each team that represents a school competes in the Conference Qualifiers for their specific region. This is also a single-elimination format that narrows down the nearly a hundred of schools that enter into a top 8 school per Conference. This is where it starts to get heated.
The Conference Series is where each of the 8 teams in a conference compete in a double-eliminations tournament to determine the top 2 teams from each Conference. If you’re not familiar with double eliminations, it means after your team loses in the main bracket, you get sent to a secondary bracket where all the other eliminated teams compete. The winner of the loser’s bracket competes in the finals with the winner of the winner’s bracket to determine the overall champion. In this case, the winner of the winner’s bracket becomes First Seed for that Conference, while the winner of the losing team’s bracket becomes Second Seed.
The Intra-College Gauntlet
The seeds from each Conference are then reshuffled into four Groups of three teams each. Each group is a separate double-round-robin tournament, meaning each team competes with each other's team at least twice. The winner in each Group is determined by a scoring system. The top team in each group will comprise the final four schools that will compete in the main Championship Split, which will ultimately determine the Philippines Collegiate League of Legends Champion.
The prize money has gone up to at least P50,000 for first prize and for the current Summer Term it is still up for grabs. The LCL has been going on for months and we’re still only in the intra-conference Group Stages. Each match is held online on a predetermined schedule and is broadcasted live on Facebook with professional commentators. The champion of the LCL is a lot closer to a slot in the Philippine Pro Gaming series, which is like what the PBA is to the UAAP, and where players can earn from sponsorships and find openings into the World Stage of League of Legends. The collegiate league is truly the breeding ground for the country’s most promising e-sports athletes.
If this has gotten you excited, or at the very least interested, you can find the weekly coverage of the current LCL games on their Facebook page.