MANILA, Philippines -- Already a member of his school's varsity basketball team, Emilio Aguinaldo College's (EAC) Kyle Carlos now wants to shine in a different discipline -- esports.
"Aside from basketball, gusto ko talagang maging esports player," said Carlos. "Mahal ko 'yung esports. Personally, second choice ko siya next to basketball."
He has the opportunity to accomplish this through the Collegiate Center for Esports (CCE), an upstart campus esports league that streams on the CALM Network.
Carlos has already shown aptitude in his second favorite sport, finishing in the Final 4 of the CCE MLBB 1-on-1 Exhibition Matches last month. The event served as CCE's prelude to the main 5-on-5 MLBB Varsity Cup (MVC) event next month.
One of the biggest attractions today in the sport is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, also known as ML, a game that has already been introduced as an official event in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
It will make a return in the regional meet next year in Hanoi, Vietnam and there have been calls to also include esports in the Asian Games and the Olympics soon.
For Carlos, esports has similar demands to basketball.
"Kung anong kailangan sa basketball, ganun din sa esports. Kailangang mag-practice, kailangan magpalakas, kailangan magpakundisyon. I-translate mo lang sa online games," he explained. "Kahit ano mang sports, practice ang sikreto."
"Ngayon, kung gusto mo makapasok naman sa esports varsity team ng mga school nyo lalo't may CCE na, ganoon din ang kailangang gawin," he stressed.
Fueled by a semis finish in the 1-on-1 exhibition tournament, Carlos seeks to carry over their basketball brilliance to the online arena as he, alongside teammates Jomar Amador, Ralph Vincent Robin, Adrian De Guzman and Christian Angelo Cabuhat look to take home the inaugural Varsity Cup.
If given a chance, he would also love to make it to the official EAC esports squad when CCE rolls out its regular season-by-season calendar featuring enrolled gaming aspirants in their respective schools.
"Dati pa lang kada after basketball practice, nag-e-ML na kami ng mga teammates ko. 'Yung ganoong background, madadala namin ngayon sa totoong esports competition. 'Di naman kailangang manalo basta magkasama-sama lang kami at mai-represent namin 'yung mga school namin," he said.