The Cavalry’s Here!

by | Jun 27, 2017, 10:30AM PDT

UCI eSports is excited to announce that we will be fielding a scholarship team for Overwatch®, the team-shooter from Blizzard Entertainment, beginning in the fall of 2017. Competition is one of the esports program’s four pillars, along with Academics/Research, Community and Entertainment. Overwatch will be the second game for which we offer scholarships and an exciting opportunity for growth of the program.

When we consider which games to support with a scholarship team, we ask ourselves three questions:

1: Does the UCI and broader gaming world play and enjoy the game?
2: Is there an organized, competitive collegiate league in which we can compete?
3: Does the developer support competitive play (have they designed their game for esports)?

Not only does Overwatch answer those questions with a resounding yes, but there are some additional factors that make it an obvious choice for us. First of all, UCI’s club Overwatch team, run by The Association of Gamers, has been one of the top North American college teams since the game’s release. They placed first nationally in the Tespa Summer Series in 2016, went undefeated in the Tespa Collegiate Series in Fall 2016, and have won multiple local collegiate LAN tournaments.

I’ve been with the UCI Overwatch team since its conception, so recognition of our achievements from the school and the eSports program means the world to me. I am so grateful for the potential for added infrastructure and hopefully UCI eSports’ first national Overwatch championship.
— Sebastian (Selectt) Vasquez, Club Overwatch Team Player

Additionally, Overwatch has been widely praised for its diverse cast of in-game heroes. Blizzard’s efforts to promote inclusivity in gaming aligns with our program’s aspirations as well as UCI’s principles of inclusive excellence.

We are grateful that the program will be extending and recognizing the talent we have in our Overwatch community. We are excited to continue working with the UCI eSports program to provide more scholarships for our teams and qualified players.
— Jenny Song, The Association of Gamers at UCI President

Finally, Overwatch was created by Blizzard Entertainment, an Irvine-based company that has a long history of producing some of the world’s most popular games. We’re excited to deepen our relationship with our neighbors just across the 405 freeway.

As we begin to take steps to assemble our Overwatch team, we will be hiring a part-time coach to help select our roster and guide our players throughout the season. We are looking for someone with competitive experience, great coaching skills, and who embodies our values. If you think you might be a good fit for this role, please fill out this application form by July 17. We plan to hire someone by the end of July with team tryouts following shortly after.

Tryouts for the team will be open to all current and incoming UCI students with an in-game rank of Master or higher. We are looking for students who are highly skilled Overwatch players with diverse hero pools, competitive team experience, strong communications skills, a willingness to be coached, and, as with our coaching prospects, a commitment to positive, inclusive gaming. Interested students should fill out this application. We will offer tryout spots for up to 20 students who best match the above criteria. Tryouts will happen during the week of July 31 at the UCI eSports Arena.

We are excited to embark on this new journey and continue to build our program. See you in-game. GLHF!


Our League of Legends: UCI Esports 2021-22 Roster

by | Nov 2, 2021, 7:37PM PDT

The UCI Esports program formally announces our League of Legends scholarship team rosters today in anticipation of the College League of Legends (CLOL) national championship, coming off the heels of the team’s victory in the RSAA Fall Warmup as the Shurima Division champions.

Your Irvine anteaters are a formidable team, composed of several challenger players, many promising new additions, and a lively spirit coming into this year reinvigorated to fight for the trophy once again, last hoisted by the team in 2018. 

Today, we proudly unveil our official varsity and junior varsity rosters for the year of 2021-22.

Top – Erik “Berik” Kim
Jungle – Duong “Duong Pro” Tran 
Mid – Ben “Cinnamon Bread” Chang
Bot – John “Sahori” Vu 
Support – Ethan “Kim Down” Song

Junior Varsity:
Top – Dylan “Dongha” Chen
Jungle – Lan jie “TacoVaco” Tsai
Mid – Danny “Somesort” Yi
Bot – Andrew “Misterdot” Liu
Support – Dylan “dtro18” Tran

“Our return to campus comes paired with new faces and talent. And we have amazing chemistry between the players and rosters, which I think is our strongest asset in contesting the championship this year. Our players are hard-working, resilient and handle adversity together head on. We aim to represent the best that the school has to offer and hope to make the UCI community proud. ” – David “Hermes” Tu, League of Legends Head Coach

Our League of Legends teams have been playing in a handful of leagues and tournaments in practice for Riot Games’ official first-party North American collegiate circuit, and our Junior Varsity team currently competing in the NACE Starleague JV West Playoffs. Having come together less than 2 months ago, the team is growing quickly, full of promise, and eager to make UCI proud as one of the premier teams in the league, and as the pride of the west coast.

Official CLOL matches will be streamed early next year when competition kicks-off in February of 2022 and local watch parties will commence then for local community members and students to come out in support. For more information on our teams, follow our social medias to keep up with the action on and off Summoner’s Rift.

Changing of the Guard

by | Oct 19, 2021, 3:06PM PDT

Greetings from UCI Esports,

We have been incredibly fortunate to have phenomenal people walk through our doors and contribute to the creation of our program.  As we begin our sixth year, we want to thank the following folks who have left us in the past year, and acknowledge their work and legacy.

Jess Acebes: Original student staff, intern, Girls in Gaming camp co-founder, streaming class teacher, NASEF tournament ops, meat lover.

Erik Bleitz:  Strategic planning lead, leadership board administrator, marketing guru, main tank, text-based game entrepreneur.

Milo Dodson: Team psychologist, the Milo of Milo meetings, speaker, celebrity, travel buddy and roommate in China.

Samantha Anton: OCHSEL tournament coordinator, NASEF COO, admissions expert, tour guide, emcee, kombucha advocate, mortal enemy of all Scorpios.

Hillary Phan: Player Support Coordinator, Intern, Girls in Gaming camp co-founder, multi-award winning Animal Crossing island designer, bean.

Damian Rosiak: Original Arena Supervisor, intern, streaming lead, special projects coordinator, Smash Ultimate overseer, NHL tournament overlord, Breakaway world champion.

Kathy Chiang: Fastest typist on the west coast, original Arena Coordinator, TAG founder, role model, collegiate leader, mentor, friend, cat mom.

As we close our chapters with these superstars, we are making a few changes to our current team.  

Ronald Ly is transitioning from Overwatch Head Coach to Acting Assistant Director.

“To my mentors and colleagues that have taught, inspired, and encouraged me these last 3 years, know that it has been a privilege to cross paths with such inspiring teammates. Our program has been enriched and made strong by your work, and I’m excited to see what we’ll all accomplish in the future, whether it be at UCI Esports, elsewhere, or beyond.”

  • Ronald “Renanthera” Ly

Michael Kuhns has moved from Assistant Coach to Head Coach of Overwatch to replace Ronald.

“I am excited to take on this new role and to lead our Overwatch team heading into the new year.  We have the most talent we have ever had and I am excited for our future.”

  • Michael “The” Kuhns

In other positive news, UCI leadership is ramping up support for esports and we will have several full-time and part-time jobs available in the coming months. We will be looking for the next generation of hard carries for our small, but mighty, department.  

We just opened up the Arena Coordinator Position which will be filled in the coming weeks.  Additionally, we are planning to hire an Assistant Director, a Communications Manager, and two part-time assistant coaches in the next six months.  

We will miss all of our colleagues who have left and will cheer them on in their next adventures.  Please join us in thanking our departed staff and stay tuned for some of the exciting things coming soon.

Mark Deppe
Director, UCI Esports

Back in Person, Back in Action: UCI’s Overwatch 2021-2022 Roster

by | Oct 2, 2021, 2:42PM PDT

Today, UCI Esports is proud to announce our collegiate scholarship team to the public. After an arduous deliberation process, our varsity team this year is composed of 11 members, some old, some new, to play for us in Activision Blizzard’s official collegiate circuit.

Formally unveiling the roster for this year, the UCI Esports Overwatch team is composed of:

Tank: Arthur “Mashiro” Tang, Phillip “PG1” Rodriguez, and Sean “Románi” Cook.

DPS: Jonathan “Light” Chao, Eugene “Dash” Tai, Juanwei “Fade” Hu, and Michael “Excal” Kim

Support: Mitsutoshi “Supreme” Sato, Tianyi “Helljudge” Chen, Victoria “Saffrona” Winn, and Bruno “KapGod” Moebest.

Overwatch games start October 1st, as UCI Esports begins the Overwatch Collegiate Homecoming 2021 preseason.

“This year’s team is one of mixed experiences, perspectives, and diversities. Some players have played professionally, others have come from high school scouting grounds, some are pick-ups straight from the competitive ladder. But every player has been ranked amongst the top 500 in North America, every player here has had some sort of overachiever, leader, or exemplar. Our team this year has been the best it has ever been, and we’re really excited to show the world how deep their potential goes. We want to make our community proud, so please follow us on our journeys, watch, and root for us as we compete.” – Ronald Ly, Player Support Coordinator