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.

Triumphs and Trials: Our Competitive Year in Review


by | May 7, 2021, 7:00AM PDT

College League of Legends

The UCI Esports League of Legends team ended their 2021 collegiate season early with a 4-2 record in the regular season, unable to qualify for the Western Conference Playoffs.

This year’s Western Conference consisted of 49 collegiate teams, with the top two teams qualifying for the national championship.

UCI Esports fell to 5th seed Cal State Fullerton during week 3 of the six-week regular season and to 1st seed University of British Columbia during week 6. This marks UCI Esports’ first time not qualifying for the Western Conference playoffs since 2016.

The League of Legends roster underwent a significant overhaul this year, bidding farewell to graduating players Avi Behar and Jeffrey Du and welcoming four new rookies.

“We’re going through a building year right now,” stated David “Hermes” Tu, head coach of League of Legends. “There are big shoes left to fill considering the legacy we have here at UCI. But I’m confident that with our rookies gaining more experience, we can reclaim the throne as leaders in the Western Conference.”

UCI’s League of Legends team will continue to develop its new talent for the remainder of the 2021 academic year. After the season, they recently competed in the Upsurge Premier League against rival collegiate teams Maryville University and the University of Texas, Dallas.

Overwatch Collegiate Championship

On April 10th and 11th of this year, the UCI Esports Overwatch team ended their 2021 competitive season, finishing strong in the top 4, making it to the semifinals.

The Overwatch Collegiate Championship is Activision Blizzard’s official tournament circuit designed and purposed for college teams to compete against each other through a multi-layered tournament spanning the academic year.

In 2021, the tournament had a whopping 304 teams, 2500+ players, and 227 unique schools across the United States and Canada duking it out for their slice of the $48,000 scholarship prize and recognition as the best in North America.

Our team practiced, studied, and competed fiercely from start to end, leaving national swiss with an impressive score of 9-1 and seeding 6th nationally.

During the playoffs, UCI Esports bested 27th seed GMU, 11th seed Boise State, and 3rd seed Bellevue University on their way to the top, meeting 2nd seed Maryville University in the semifinals. Maryville would proceed to play in the finals against Northwood University and win, cementing themselves as the champions of this year.

Concerning the team, their performance, and the season as a whole, this is what UCI Esports’ coaches had to say.

I am so privileged to have been able to work alongside such hardworking and tenacious student-athletes. Our players this year truly gave it their best, their hearts were truly in the game and with each other, and that’s all we ask for. With a sample of victory, our team was so close to the precipice, and they’re hungry to give it another go next year with renewed confidence and the solid foundation we’ve built this year.

Ronald “Renanthera” Ly

I’m incredibly proud of our players for the resilience they’ve shown throughout the season. Like any other team this year, life has thrown a lot at us, and we’ve persevered to be able to deal with it and still push towards being a top collegiate team. I’m thankful for all of their hard work and especially the environment they all help to create. I look forward to every practice and match knowing we’re all in it together and propping each other up to succeed as a team.

Michael “The” Kuhns

UCI Esports closed out the season as the #1 school on the West Coast and 3rd-4th across all of North America.

Final Words

Regarding the program’s competitive year as a whole, we asked our director for a few words.

I am very proud of the program and our work during this very strange year. All of our coaches have worked tirelessly this year to cultivate a community and a culture focused on caring for one another, playing for their teams, and making those connections palpable despite the global pandemic. Our League of Legends team has gone through a tough rebuilding year, and we’ve crafted a strong foundation for the next. Our Overwatch team ended the best in the west, but I know our players and staff aren’t going to be satisfied with just that either. We’re already planning and plotting for what comes next, and it’s beautiful to see the teams already hard at work preparing for success next year.

Mark Deppe