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These Student Gamers Will Represent the PH in an International Esports Competition

Here's what life is like as online students and esports athletes.
IMAGE (LEFT TO RIGHT) FACEBOOK/LG ESPORTS, COURTESY OF TIMMY ALBERT

Esports has been steadily on the rise in the past few years, but it has significantly boomed especially since the pandemic began. Tournaments and competitions among gamers have started to pop up, putting the spotlight on esports as more than just a distraction from academics.

A group of students from LG Esports, an official esports team and a student organization dedicated from Ateneo de Manila University, will be one of the representatives of the country at the Cyberathlete Valorant Collegiate Invitational 2020 wherein the top two collegiate teams from seven ASEAN countries will be competing against each other. Together with Viridis Arcus Esports from De La Salle University, they will be competing to bag the top spot for the Philippines.

Below, we got to talk to Patrick Lanuza, Dominic Juan, and Timmy Albert, members of the LG Esports, to share more about their lives as online students and esports athletes.

Online classes made it easier to manage their schedules.

Because everything is now done online, even classes and school requirements, it became easier to plan out their schedules and set aside time for their academic and gaming commitments because they can all do it from the same screen. “With time management of course comes discipline. Each player is expected to have their org or academics-related work finished before night time,” shares Patrick. “We usually practice as a team four times a week, having one academic or rest day during the weekdays. We allot our Saturdays for tournaments and Sundays for family and rest day.”

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Esports will require training, too.

Just like most contact sports, gamers will need to practice through training routines and get better at their craft to be at the top of their game during the competition. “These training routines are focused on improving my aim, game sense, and team chemistry. I also stream my gameplay on Facebook at YABBA Gaming,” Timmy says.

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Aside from actually playing the game, part of training is also strategizing. Dominic says, “I personally only play one to three games a day, but my team participates in scrimmages with other schools and we have meetings where we talk about strategies and map talk.”

They don’t limit themselves to one type of game.

Despite competing in a tournament for Valorant, the three are also avid fans of other games as well. Valorant, a multiplayer first-person shooter game, was only launched recently in June 2020. Before seeing what the hype was all about, Timmy would play Among Us, Fall Guys, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Dominic has been playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ever since he was 10 years old, and Patrick has been officially competing in tournament for League of Legends for five years.

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But because Valorant was relatively fresh in the gaming scene, fans of first-person shooter games like Dominic decided to give it a try. “Valorant was premiered during the start of the quarantine, and I immediately hopped on the hype train,” Patrick adds. “I loved everything about the game – the mechanics, concept, you name it. I knew that its esports scene was fresh and it really has a huge potential for aspiring competitive players.”

Despite their already busy scheds, they try to make time for other interests.

Becoming a pro at video games takes lots of time, dedication, and practice, even if you’re not competing in an international tournament. But despite their full plates, these student gamers still get to pursue activities outside of gaming if they choose to. For instance, Timmy is also an indie/synth pop recording artist signed under Universal Records and makes his own music. And just like what Patrick said, time management is key and discipline plays a huge role in making it work.

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Mylene Mendoza
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