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!


UCI Varsity LoL: New Season Updates!

by | Jan 19, 2019, 8:00AM PDT

(The stage during the 2018 College Championship Semifinals)

UCI’s League of Legends Varsity Team kicks off the year strong with a 3-0 sweep against UCSD’s Varsity Team in the 2019 Winter GameFest! Hosted by UCSD’s Sixth College, UCI took 1st place at the LoL tournament last week, beating UCSD on their own turf.

By score alone, 3-0 may seem like a clean win. In reality, UCI struggled to cap the enemy nexus in the early games. Although victory was secured in the end, the team definitely took note of their weaknesses in gameplay.

Winter Gamefest was a great warm-up for our team and an opportunity to compete against the solid UCSD squad. We clearly have some things to work on and I know several players will want to improve on their performances. I want to give a shout out to Youngbin “Youngbin” Jung and Jeffrey “Descraton” Du for their solid play that carried us to the win!

Mark Deppe, Director

In tandem with the beginning of this year’s collegiate League of Legends season, ESPN released its first-ever College League of Legends Rankings with UCI placed at number one! The article highlights UCI’s Varsity LoL team victory from last season, showcasing an image of their hoisting of the trophy in celebration after beating Colombia College in a 3-0 sweep in the finals. The recognition from ESPN in itself is an amazing feat for UCI Esports and only goes to bolster the team’s determination to uphold their title as Champions of the Rift.

Not only is this the first ever collegiate ranking by ESPN, it’s also the first poll of its kind in college esports. The ESPN rankings will be updated biweekly as the season develops, so make sure to follow closely to see which colleges will rise to meet our victors! The general overview for the 2019 College League of Legends Championships can be found here and the more specific West Conference schedule here.

For Round 1 (January 26, 2019), UCI has a “bye” and will not be participating in any matches due to seeding and the uneven amount of teams involved. But keep on the lookout for their first game in later dates!

[Patch Notes] Introducing New Heroes: Renanthera and The

by | Jan 11, 2019, 8:00AM PDT

As we step into 2019, there are many new things to be excited for, and UCI Esports is no exception! The former Head Coach of the Overwatch team, Jacob “Bishop” Bishop, will be continuing his work with the program as an analyst. This leaves the role to be succeeded by none other than Ronald “Renanthera” Ly along with new Assistant Coach Michael “The” Kuhns! Both coaches will be working remotely with the team for the 2019 season.

I’m thrilled to bring in such experienced coaches to the program. I am confident that their experience and people-focused approach will create a positive and competitive environment. Please join me in welcoming our new coaches!

Mark Deppe, Director

Renanthera has had notable success throughout his career in esports. It is needless to say he has an abundance of experience in the competitive scene from starting off as player and captain of the University of Toronto’s collegiate Overwatch team to becoming Head Coach for Toronto Esports and Mayhem Academy.

I am deeply honored to have been invited onboard to assist in leading UCI’s trailblazing esports program as head coach of their Overwatch team. UCI’s esports program continuously leads the way in producing industry experts, elite players, and future innovators.  Their record and work is inspiring, and it is my intent to equip our team with all the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to elevate their play and craft beyond just the collegiate standard. By partnering with UCI’s world class association, I aim to succeed in producing world class professionals, leaders, and winners under our united guidance.

Ronald Ly, Overwatch Head Coach

The has his own set of accomplishments to share as well. As a former player of the popular Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) team and a continuing member of the coaching staff for the North American Overwatch Contenders team First Generation, he continues to distinguish himself within the competitive realm.

When I was offered the position of assistant coach, I was thrilled; when I met the team and staff, I felt like I gained a family. From the first tryout, I knew this team was a great group of people. After working with them further and learning about the resources at their disposal, I can tell you this team is a perfect storm in the collegiate scene. The pieces are falling together to create an outstanding season, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to help guide us through it. We’re going to learn a lot from each other and grow together through this unique adventure.

Michael Kuhns, Overwatch Assistant Coach

We are more than excited to see what Renanthera and The will bring to the table as experienced coaches in the competitive Overwatch scene. Cheers to the new year and a big welcome to our two new coaches!

Introducing Your 2018-2019 Scholarship Teams!

by | Dec 21, 2018, 3:00PM PDT

Who are they? Great question, reader. Read on for the who’s who of our League of Legends (LoL) and Overwatch (OW) varsity and junior varsity (JV) teams! (Quick congratulations to Overwatch for BEST ONGOING GAME OF 2018 — The Game Awards.)

Maybe you have heard some of these distinctive gamer handles before or seen them dominating The Rift in LoL. But if you haven’t, we are here to introduce them, starting with our varsity LoL team: 

Evan “Captain Nuke” Phu is our resilient Top Laner.
Avi “Im Avi” Behar roams the Jungle.
Jeffrey “Descraton” Du is our quick-witted Mid Lane.
Youngbin “Youngbin” Chung and Lyubomir “BloodWater” Spasov make up-our powerful Bot Lane duo of AD Carry and Support (respectively).

But wait, there’s more! Substitutes are just as important, as you never know what might happen in the future and prevent someone from being able to play at a given time. Parsa “Frostalicious” Baghai fills in this vital role.

In addition to introducing the varsity team, the League of Legends JV player tryouts and interviews just concluded and we are excited to break the news of our recently completed rosters! Without further ado, please give a big round of internet applause for our new players destined for greatness on the rift.

Andy “Pandy Vo” Vo is our persevering Top Lane.
Jimmy “MultiTasker” Bi stalks the Jungle.
Sean “Zud” Uehara is our quick-thinking Mid Lane.
Rich “Ryuuji” Mo and Ethan “Kim Down” Song combine to form our synergetic Bot Lane of AD Carry and Support (respectively). 
James “McLi” Li  is our vital sub whom we rely on in times of need.


Summoners Rift has been swell, but now the cavalry’s here! The only thing bigger than a LoL team is an OW team (5-man teams vs. 6-man teams, get it?). Overwatch varsity team comin’ atcha! Our unstoppable starting lineup for this  year is:

John Nick “Learntooplay” Theodorakis, stalwart Main Tank
Sebastian “Selectt” Vasquez, adaptive Flex and Support
Brenden “tildae” Alvarez, divey Off-Tank
Andy “Genos” Nguyen, dynamic Flex and DPS
Zuhair “Zeerocious” Taleb, versatile Flex
Isaac “IzakBirdie” Jimenez, dependable Main Support

Our steadfast substitutes comprise of: 
Seong “Stadium” Park, strong Main Tank
Xuanyi “Devilswill” Wang, spontaneous Off-Tank
Patrick “Pat” Phan, ever adaptive Flex

Look forward to some great matches and victories from these fast-clicking cyber-athletes! (In case you missed it, we’ve already won the two LA Valiant/SF Shock Overwatch California Cups so far!) You can support UCI Esports in your own sweet gear from The Hill. The world can always use more heroes, and heroes can always use more fans–join us TODAY! Zot! Zot! Zot!