Journey to the Mainstream
Athena Christy L. Soledad
“An eagle uses the storm to reach unimaginable heights.” -- Eric Thomas
When a storm brews, the eagle would fly straight into the relentless winds, using the challenge and pressure to rise to greater heights. Challenged by countless storms since its genesis, the San Agustin Golden Eagle Esports have been widening their vision of the map as they continuously expand through the years.
THE MULTIPLAYER MISSION
San Agustin Golden Eagle (SAGE) Esports is the official esports and gaming organization in the University of San Agustin - Iloilo, routinely competing in tournaments and games with students from universities all over the country. A journey first embarked in 2019, they have climbed steep mountains and descended valley lows to give life to their vision of an on-campus community where its members are instilled with the #NotJustPlay mindset.
“I see esports as an industry where people who are not as privileged as we are can actually put a name for themselves [...] the people who went pro used to play in computer shops. I see it as an industry that would provide platforms for these people to help their families,” said Kathlyn Marie Lim, a member of SAGE Esports and one of the people to be awarded the e-sports scholarship in the country.
Because of this, they tirelessly incorporate values of education in their events and projects by sharpening the skills and talents of the student-gamers in areas like multimedia design, management, hosting, shoutcasting, and e-sports. By giving them experience now, they are priming these young gamers to be the industry leaders of tomorrow, brought up by leaders who engage, educate, and empower them in every way possible.
FROM EAGLETS TO BIRDS OF PREY
SAGE Esports was co-founded in 2019 by the then-Senator Earon Philip Villamora and Senator Kenneth Sean Barredo of the USA Student Government (USASG), hatched by the combined efforts of the Office of the Student Affairs, the Vice President for Augustinian Formation and Mission, and USASG.
During the term of the cofounders, the first-ever e-sports tournament in the University of San Agustin was initiated, which they cleverly coined “E-trams”, swiftly followed by another one during the University Week.
After Villamora and Barredo’s term, new eagles emerged to continue what they started and push the organization to greater heights. They gathered one fateful April night, and it was then that the Core Team of what was then called the Golden Eagle Esports Organization (GE Esports) was assembled. They are Jose Miguel Garin, Paul Arnel Bautista, Brian Keith Blancaver, and Josine Elinor Luison.
The completion of the Unitas League 2021 was a challenge foreveryone which meant that it was a surmountable feat that eventually led to their perch on theAugustinian Formation and Mission (Augustinian Passion Projects) and the Top 20 in the 2021 TAYO awards.
The League of Legends competitive team, led by BrianBlancaver, soared through rough storms as they rose to be regional champion and national runner-ups. “The most memorable part of being part of SAGE is the people... we all come from different courses, and gaming brings us together,” said Lim, recounting the moment when the Eagles had a taste of triumph. “I remember when we supported our League of Legends Team in their championships...we were on the Discord call, we were screaming because we actually won,”
With the help of Acad Arena and their seasonal invites to the highly esteemed ESI Digital Conventions, SAGE was also ableto send out a total of six delegates: Jose Miguel Garin, Earon Philip Villamora, Kathlyn Marie Lim, CJ Sean Gerard Lao, Ronald Dilla II,and Paolo Bautista.
PVP: PLAYERS VERSUS PANDEMIC
Despite the barrier brought by the lack of face-to-face interaction, SAGE Esports was able to check off a number of goals, including the launch of the Unitas League, SAGE Clash, and numerous otheradvocacy-driven events.
While the pandemic posed a threat to a lot of organizations, it was like feeding season for the Golden Eagles. “The pandemic as a whole particularly boosted our motivation as a team, and esports, in general, isn’t inhibited by its presence,” commented Jose Miguel Garin, the current president of SAGE. “We made the value of consistency an important factor in our capabilities to adapt and change to the situations of the unpredictable environment of the university...we made it a priority to be updated and made sure that the team was going forward withprojects at a consistent pace.”
CLEAR SKIES AND NEW HORIZONS
SAGE Esports foretells clear skies just beyond the horizon as they set their sights on new quests and stay consistent with their flagship events from the previous year, slowly expanding as they dominate more arenas. In addition to organizing educational panels for the future, the team is also strategizing how they are going to develop and implement an efficient program that will allow student-gamers to join en masse.
Equipped with valor and victory, the Golden Eagles continue to hold their heads high and spread their wings as they aim for the gold advantage amid new horizons.
Published: April 25, 2022