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!