MANILA, Philippines -- The inaugural champions of the National Interschool Cyber League (NICL) will be crowned later this month, with teams looking to rule virtual multi-game tournaments featuring VALORANT, DOTA 2, and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.
The NICL is a banner program of Mineski Philippine's Youth Esports Program (YEP), and is the first major collegiate esports league in the country.
Qualifiers kicked off last April 13. According to Mineski, the NICL received over 920 active player registrations spread across 184 teams, 170 unique schools, and 81 YEP chapters across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Of the 184 teams, 76 registered for VALORANT and another 76 registered for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Meanwhile, 32 teams registered to compete in DOTA 2.
Players and their respective teams from all over the country battled it out through rounds of qualifiers, semi-finals, and the recently concluded regionals. All these lead to the highly anticipated finals, where the best teams from different universities will be competing for the first-ever NICL Championship title for their respective games.
NICL's multiple finals will be spread out over the month of June.
VALORANT kickstarts the final showdown with the semifinal round on June 12, immediately followed by the finals on June 13.
Meanwhile, the DOTA 2 semifinals will be on June 19, and the finals on June 20. Mobile Legends: Bang Bang closes the 2021 NICL with semifinals on June 26, and then the finals on June 27.
"We envision YEP to be an inclusive platform that nurtures esports players and fans in the collegiate level. NICL is one such program that creates a competitive atmosphere, yet gamers of all skill levels and backgrounds are welcome," said Mark Navarro, country manager of Mineski Philippines.
"Furthermore, the NICL will be supplemented by programs to educate our chapters and prepare them for careers in the esports industry and beyond."
The first ever NICL champions for their respective games will each receive P120,000.
Moreover, as the sponsor of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League, OPPO Philippines will also be giving a Reno5 unit to the MVP of the winning team in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang finals, while the MVP from the runners-up will receive an A94 unit.