Visiting DreamHack 2020 with NASEF (and the Anaheim Ducks!)


by | Feb 26, 2020, 12:00PM PDT

This past weekend, UCI Esports teamed up with our partner NASEF to booth at DreamHack Anaheim, providing information about high school and collegiate esports programs to thousands of attendees during the three-day event held at the Anaheim Convention Center. 

For those unaware, DreamHack is a series of festivals—the largest of their kind, in fact—that celebrate digital culture. They’re held all over the world, from Dallas to Rotterdam, and run for three consecutive days.

Though every DreamHack is different, tournaments remain the events’ central draws, with more than half a million dollars in prize money up for grabs at Anaheim alone. This year’s most lucrative titles? Fortnite and CS:GO, with prize pools of $250,000 and $100,000, respectively. 

From February 21st-23rd, 1,200 attendees competed for their share of a $250,000 prize pool in Dreamhack Anaheim’s bring-your-own-computer (BYOC) Fortnite open.  

While Fortnite and CS:GO took center stage this DreamHack, smaller tournaments abounded across the convention center, with NASEF’s NHL ‘20 finals no small force among them. As the culminating match in a month-long series held in partnership with the Anaheim Ducks, LA Kings, Vegas Golden Knights, and Florida Panthers, the finals offered more than $50,000 in grants, scholarships, and prizes to participating teams, with $2,000 going to each member of the team finishing first overall.

As might be expected, the tournament drew spectators from all corners of the convention center, who watched the games unfold with growing excitement. Between plays, they visited nearby exhibitions, including UCI Esports’ Health in Gaming booth, where they learned about the initiatives we’re undertaking to improve mental, physical, and social health in esports.

At UCI Esports’ Health in Gaming booth, Dreamhack attendees learned about our program’s commitment to helping UCI’s scholarship players maintain healthy lifestyles in and out of the competitive season. 

Judging from the amazing response we received over the weekend from parents, students, and the esports community at large, it’s safe to say that our first visit to DreamHack was a success. Thank you to everyone who helped make things possible—and here’s to another great showing next year.

Community Engagement Coordinator: Jamel Hopkins!


by | Aug 1, 2022, 12:18PM PDT

Whether you’re sieging towers, rushing sites, or pushing payloads, it’s your teammates that largely determine the course of the game. The community with which you surround yourself with is central to the gaming experience, in-game and out. Therefore, it is with great excitement that we announce Jamel “Aespirin” Hopkins, former shoutcaster and student staffer, will be joining the program full-time as our first-ever Community Engagement Coordinator.

Jamel will play an essential role for the program by connecting UCI Esports to the greater gaming community. As a primary liaison of the program, they will help to encourage and foster relations with other gaming spaces of all scopes, high school students, local UCI clubs, UCI alumni, and the national college esports community as a whole.

“As we have evolved as a program and adjusted to a world with COVID-19, we see a tremendous opportunity to use games and esports to re-engage our communities as we come back together in person. Our new Community Coordinator will play a vital role, connecting us more closely with UCI clubs, high school students, and our local community.”

– Mark Deppe, UCI Esports Director

“I’m ecstatic for this opportunity to give back to UCI Esports and the gaming community! In stepping into the role, my goal is to make our program a central hub on campus for students to call home like I have for years. I want our arena to brighten campus. Every student should feel safe and welcome here. I want everyone on campus to come here and get to know us, know each other.”

– Jamel Hopkins, Community Engagement Coordinator

The establishment of this new position at UCI Esports marks an exciting venture in the program’s ongoing commitment to building bridges between our local campus community and beyond. We are more than excited to have Jamel on board once more and look forward to witnessing his continued impact on the program!