2018-2019 Scholarship Team Tryouts


by | Jul 19, 2018, 3:00PM PDT

Competition is one of the program’s five pillars, and we want to compete against the best collegiate teams in the world. We’re excited to announce that we’ll have varsity and junior varsity teams for both of our games: Overwatch and League of Legends. Compensation will be $6,000 for members of the varsity team and $1,000 for members of the junior varsity team. Tryouts will include both scrims and out-of-game team building and communication exercises.

Overwatch: August 24-26
League of Legends: August 31-September 2

Here are the tryout signup forms for League of Legends and Overwatch. For League, the minimum rank to apply is Diamond 1. For Overwatch, the minimum SR is 3500. Exceptions may be made if you have previous experience on a team! Please fill this out by 11:59 PM on August 19th. We’ll contact you if we think you might be a good fit for our teams.

UCI Esports Wins the 2018 College League of Legends Championship!


by | Aug 13, 2018, 2:21PM PDT

This article was a collaborative effort with UCI Esports League of Legends coach, James “Dreamweaver” Bates.


From July 7th to the 10th, UCI watched its League of Legends team pack up their bags and make their way to the League of Legends Championship Series Arena in Santa Monica, where the team would participate in the North American division of the College League of Legends Championship. Recent losses for the Overwatch and Heroes of the Dorm teams just earlier this year meant that this tournament was the perfect opportunity to show that UCI Esports will still fight to call themselves the victor.

Although most expected British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University to enter the tournament, UCI Esports had defeated them in the West Conference Playoffs, earning the title of the number two seed and a ticket into the championships.

Round One: University of Ottawa

New to the collegiate scene, Ottawa started this season ranked 18th in North America, but quickly fought their way through to the seventh seed this tournament. Despite their rapid climb, however, UCI Esports put it to a swift end.

With the newest Anteater, Evan “Captain Nuke” Phu, executing powerful ganks (surprise attacks that outweigh numbers in the performer’s favor) and careful team-fight setups, it’s no shock that he took the MVP title of the first match. Even more impressive was James “Lattman” Lattman’s play during Game 2– no one would contest that a devastating Pentakill, let alone the only Pentakill the entire tournament, would make him UCI Esports’ first series MVP during the championship. UCI Esports’ performance that day was a only a small prelude to what would come the rest of the weekend. Fans both at home and at the event had plenty to look forward to.

Lattman (right), alongside hostess Ovilee May (left), as he holds a blown-up cut-out of his face brought in by the UCI crowd.

Round Two: University of Maryland

The next day, UCI Esports faced their most consistent scrimmage partner and champion of the Eastern Conference, University of Maryland.

Working late into the night, UCI Esports had busied themselves carefully studying and predicting any of the wild picks that Maryland might try throwing at them. While the first two games of this series were quickly under UCI’s belt, Game Three suddenly put a bump into the road. The first twenty minutes of the game were dictated by Maryland jungler Winston “Wezi” Zhou playing Lee Sin, barring UCI from their usual early game jungle lead and eventually taking Game Three from the Anteaters.

Youngbin “Youngbin” Jung, however, wasn’t going down without a fight. With a newfound fervor, the jungler lead UCI Esports to victory in Game Four, winning their second series of the tournament.

Final Round: Columbia College

As Riot’s marching band lead the crowd in a spectacle of roaring cheers, UCI Esports and Columbia College prepared for the final series ahead of them. Columbia, an all-star roster put together in 2017, was one of UCI’s practice partners and a favorite to win the entire event.

The Anteaters capitalized on every chance they received, banning all of Columbia mid laner Julien “Juliens” Gelinas’ best picks every game as well as Youngbin counterpicking his jungler-counterpart Zachary “BukZach” Lapham, winning a solid Game One. And although Game Two began looking in favor of Columbia, Jeffrey “Descraton” Du’s miraculous Zoe plays reunited UCI for a victorious comeback. Game Three followed suit, Descraton on Zoe once again leading the charge until UCI Esports ganked Columbia’s solo lanes and choking out a win. The series, as well as the 2018 season of College League of Legends, ended soon after, with UCI Esports alone left standing victorious.

Lyubomir “Bloodwater” Spasov poses with UCI Esports, raising the College League of Legends 2018 Championship Trophy above him.

Road to China

After what seemed like a drought, UCI Esports was finally able to bring a championship trophy back home. Friends and family alike gathered from far and wide for support, with Descraton’s parents even assembling everyone together in the lobby to sing their son happy birthday. This only ushered in the beginning of a longstanding celebration. On June 14th, UC Irvine honored the team by hosting a party on campus, and California Congresswoman Mimi Walters even sent special congressional recognition certificates to the team.

The team’s victory lap is far from over, however, as they will now represent all of North America during the International Collegiate Championship taking place August 15-18th in Xi’an, China.

The UCI Esports Twitch channel will be the sole official English broadcast for the event this upcoming week. Be sure to tune in for a local time schedule to catch our team prove that not only can they be the best in the West, but the best in the world as well!

UCI Esports and NASEF host the 2018 Girls in Gaming Summer Camp


by | Jul 24, 2018, 3:00PM PDT
Paving the way for the next generation of industry professionals

As the industry continues to grow larger than life, many organizations are taking a critical look at the esports ecosystem and their own shortcomings in diversity, especially in gender. Today, more groups are offering events and programs catered toward women, equipping them with tools for navigating esports opportunities and careers.

Playing squads, not solos

UCI Esports held its inaugural Girls in Gaming camp in Summer of 2017, including 15 young gamers looking to get a head start on their esports journey. For 2018, UCI Esports had great hopes to deepen the camp curriculum. With esteemed partner in high school esports and title sponsor, North America Scholastic Esports Federation (hereafter referred to as NASEF), the camp curriculum was revisited with the lens of social emotional learning and STEM career opportunities.

This year’s curriculum continued to provide a snapshot of the esports ecology, featuring sessions in the subjects of journalism, event planning and content creation. With support from academic partners at the UCI Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science, the camps included activities on improving mechanical skills, using game analytics for self-assessments, and addressing safety in online spaces.

Gaming and growing

With each day of the week-long camp came a variety of activities, lessons and guest speakers. On Monday, the focus was healthy gaming, featuring guest speakers Dr. Julie Holt and Cole Pocock from the Integrative Core Energy Coaching Network. This gave our campers the solid foundation to game throughout the week strategically.

One of our campers checking out all of the games in the arena!

Tuesday, the campers learned all about content creation, starting off with journalist Tatjana “Digital_Vix3n” Vejnovic. Tatjana currently writes for USA Today and taught our campers how to get started and set themselves up for success. In the afternoon, NASEF League Operations Coordinator Jessamyn Acebes and camp staff Brandi Moy walked campers through the ins and outs of graphic design, later leaving campers to create event flyers of their own.

Wednesday started off with an overview of stream basics, leading into a Q-and-A session with HeroesHype stream team manager Maaike “ShinobiHaruka” Tirtarahardja. Campers were extra excited later in the day, when Counterstrike: Global Offensive players Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido, Lynnie “artStar” Noquez and Kiara “milk” Makua from Team Dignitas walked them through team chemistry during competition. They were also joined by a few of our own CS:GO club’s competitive team.

Thursday was star-studded with some of Blizzard’s most influential women. In the morning, campers designed their dream event with Sabrina Wong (LA Valiant, Events) who had signed goodies to share with everyone. In the afternoon, campers participated in a round table discussion with Blizzard employees Nicki Quinn (PM Esports), Stelanie Tsirlis (Esports Coordinator), Ania Wietski (Lead PM Esports), and Keikei Day (Esports Coordinator).

Our camper presenting her event ideas to LA Valiant’s Sabrina Wong.

Friday was set up for celebrations and fun! Ovilee May, most famously known for her interviews with LCS and ESPN Esports, started everyone (including Overwatch caster James “Jamerson” Lee) off with her typical vocal warm ups. Ovilee and James both gave plenty of helpful tips to mentally prepare them for what was to come. In the afternoon, our campers participated in a mock tournament with several casting live on Twitch.

Jessamyn, who also served as one of the camp coordinators for the inaugural Girls’ Camp, was excited to see how the second year came about. “It brought me great pride and joy to see old and new faces this summer,” she reflected. “A few of the main things we wanted to improve on were camper engagement, increased activity time, and better curated speakers and topics. Thanks to this huge collaborative effort of camp counselors, support staff, community members and guest speakers, we were able to make this happen. We’re constantly striving to improve and provide a better experience year after year.”

The camp came to a bittersweet end with the awards ceremony, which was streamed on Twitch, recognizing each camper with their accomplishments for the week and sending them off with lots of goodies from additional sponsors.

Hope for the future

As Morgan “Rhoulette” Romine, Director of Initiatives for AnyKey.org, covered during her session at the week’s end, toxicity is still apparent within the esports community. As campers are equipped with the tools to kickstart their esports journey, they are advised to be mindful of how their actions online influence others and how to deal with unsafe or toxic spaces.

NASEF and UCI Esports will continue to create and support safe spaces for gaming. For more information on their inclusivity efforts, visit their websites at esportsfed.org and esports.uci.edu.

We would also like to thank our other camp sponsors iBUYPOWER, NVIDIA, Mountain Dew Kickstart, EVGA, Tespa, Logitech, Vertagear, and Linksys for helping make this possible!

Thank you also to all campers and speakers. See you in 2019!

UCI Esports Launches Summer Overwatch Bootcamp


by | Jul 20, 2018, 3:00PM PDT

Introduction circle between campers and counselors at the Overwatch Bootcamp

It’s been an exciting year for UCI Esports and this summer was the launch of our first ever Overwatch bootcamp! This elite bootcamp was created for players to achieve their goals by developing skills that will help them compete in Overwatch at a collegiate or professional level. Curriculum for the camp was largely created by our very own UCI Esports Overwatch scholarship team to impart important fundamentals they’ve learned from participating in a top level collegiate esports team the past year.  

Campers in this week long overnight camp participated in a variety of activities from 9am-5pm daily, but the main focus was always put on communication and team play. Early in camp teams were drafted based on skill ranking and changed as needed. For many of the campers, this was their first exposure to working in an established team consisting of members they knew in real life within a similar age range while playing Overwatch.

Campers setting up with supervision from scholarship players Selectt, Lootre, and Frostalicious

A sizable portion of camp was dedicated to daily competitive play in scrim blocks between teams, along with scrim VOD review assistance led by UCI Esports overwatch coach and scholarship players. This review was dedicated to giving constructive criticisms on what teams could have done better and also pointing out what may have worked well during games played at camp.

Several lectures were given throughout the week, in which campers learned valuable lessons on how to stream and record their own gameplay for later review. UCI’s very own Clinical Exercise Physiologist Haylesh Patel also gave a presentation about stretching, health, and fitness to avoid esports related injury and promote keeping an active mind and body to play at the highest level possible.

Campers participating in stretching exercises

At the end of the week the campers had enough experience to compete against each other in a very close match up, with the winning team having the chance to take on our very own counselors. These matches were casted on twitch.tv with friends and family of the campers being able to tune in and show their support. 

With the camp drawing to a close we held our awards ceremony to recognize the campers efforts for the week. Evaluations were chosen by the camp counselors for every camper, and these awards varied from being the most positive to the most improved with everyone was recognized for their hard work.

End of camp award ceremony

Leading the camp was our team’s own coach, Jacob Bishop. We interviewed him to inquire about his experience with the camp.

UCIE: Could you introduce yourself and tell us how you got involved with the camps?

JB: My name is Jacob “Bishop” Bishop, and I am the coach of the UCI Overwatch Scholarship team. I got involved with the camps during the planning phase when I heard coworkers talking about it and I was immediately interested.

UCIE: What was your role for the camps?

JB: I created the schedule and general curriculum of the camp, along with being an RA, counselor, and Coach during the camp.

UCIE: What past experience did you have running summer camps?

JB: I have had no past experience running camps like that. I have run school clubs, but never a full on summer camp.

Coach Bishop giving a speech at the end of camp

UCIE: What were you worried about happening during the camp? Did anything unexpected happen?

JB: I was really worried the camp would have to be structured in a way that would either focus heavily on fun or focus too heavily on practice and lessons. I had to structure it to find a balance between both of those and I think it turned out fairly well.

UCIE: What was running an Overwatch camp like? How similar was it to other summer camps?

JB: Running the camp was fairly difficult because there was so much to prep and do both before and after it started. It was incredibly fun and rewarding but in the future I’ll need to focus much more heavily on one aspect of the planning rather than spreading my time so thinly.

It felt pretty standard in the terms of other summer camps, but I would like to focus more on creating lasting friendships and bonding outside of the game. It felt slightly more boot camp than summer camp.

UCIE: Lastly, what was your favorite moments from the camps?

JB: My favorite moments was hearing all the feedback from the campers and the closing ceremony where we gave out awards after the final tournament. 

Happy camper winning a new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti

Once again, we just want to thank NASEF, iBUYPOWER, NVIDIA, Mountain Dew Kickstart, Tespa, Logitech, Vertagear, and Linksys for helping sponsor our camp to make this possible!

2018-2019 Scholarship Team Tryouts


by | Jul 19, 2018, 3:00PM PDT

Competition is one of the program’s five pillars, and we want to compete against the best collegiate teams in the world. We’re excited to announce that we’ll have varsity and junior varsity teams for both of our games: Overwatch and League of Legends. Compensation will be $6,000 for members of the varsity team and $1,000 for members of the junior varsity team. Tryouts will include both scrims and out-of-game team building and communication exercises.

Overwatch: August 24-26
League of Legends: August 31-September 2

Here are the tryout signup forms for League of Legends and Overwatch. For League, the minimum rank to apply is Diamond 1. For Overwatch, the minimum SR is 3500. Exceptions may be made if you have previous experience on a team! Please fill this out by 11:59 PM on August 19th. We’ll contact you if we think you might be a good fit for our teams.

We’re Hiring Support Staff!


by | Jul 19, 2018, 12:00PM PDT

UCI Esports has some exciting news for anyone interested in esports – we have openings for support staff! We’re looking for passionate, dedicated gamers who embody our program’s values, are interested in operating at a high level, and want to contribute to an inclusive community. All current positions are paid and part-time. Here are the open positions and applications:

Video Coordinator
League of Legends Assistant Coach
League of Legends Analyst
Overwatch Assistant Coach
Overwatch Analyst

You can look at the position description and requirements here. Deadline to apply is 11:59 PM on August 3rd.