Filipino Student Receives Scholarship to US for League of Legends
Filipino student, Michael James “Maykel” Gonzales’ commitment to League of Legends has earned him a scholarship at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania, USA. Maykel has played for the Teletigers Esports Club from University of Santo Tomas and competed in AcadArena events. While he is an experienced jungler, he will be taking the bot lane at Harrisburg. Maykel made it to the American university after one of his teammates encouraged him to give it a shot. With his competitive track record by his side, he managed to secure a scholarship.
Maykel was originally a DoTA player
Maykel revealed in an interview with Esports Enquirer that he was in love with DoTA but “everyone else had begun playing League.” After giving Riot Games’ MOBA a shot, he liked the gameplay and kept at it for nine years. Maykel talked about how competition is what keeps him coming back to League for more. He won his first local tournament and never looked back.
Under Teletigers, Maykel was highly successful at local events in the Filipino esports scene. He represented Philippines at the International Esports Festival (IEF) for three years and became the 2021 Philippines champion and a representative for Team Liquid IMC 2021.
Maykel revealed that he would not have this opportunity if Teletigers did not recruit him. Theo “Uomi” Ignacio, founder of the Teletigers Esports Club revealed, “In his stay with Teletigers, I always saw him as a player driven by that will to win, and he would do anything to get that victory with his team.”
Maykel said that he is nervous and excited at the same time and is scared of failure but Uomi thinks that Maykel has prepared himself for success. The Teletigers founder stated that Maykel learnt to embrace responsibility and that he is prepared to take on the “next chapter as a player in a foreign university.”
Esports scholarships were unheard of in the past, but they are being offered by numerous institutions globally. Some institutions are also offering higher education programs in esports, and taking up competitive gaming as a career is not as daunting of a career prospect full of uncertainties like it used to be. While esports still has its challenges, academia’s adoption of esports is pushing it in the right direction.