UCI esports team will compete in Fiesta Bowl

Players and coaches representing UCI’s top-ranked Overwatch team are fired up for their trip this weekend to the Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championship on the campus of Arizona State University. Famous as an annual college football tournament, the Fiesta Bowl partnered with Blizzard Entertainment to allow the best collegiate computer gaming teams to clash. This year’s event features teams from four schools: UCI, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and the University of Toronto. Each student on the winning team will receive $7,000 in scholarship funding. Overwatch is a popular team-based shooter game created by Blizzard Entertainment, headquartered in Irvine. UCI is fielding a strong team this year; it won all 16 of its Overwatch matches this past season. “This is a really unique team in that they’re incredibly talented and dedicated, and they work really well as a cohesive unit,” said Mark Deppe, acting director of UCI esports. “I couldn’t be more proud of the growth of this team and the hard work from the players and coaching staff.” UCI’s semifinal match against UC San Diego begins at 2 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. UC Berkeley and the University of Toronto will battle at 3:30 p.m., and the finalists will square off at 6 p.m. The match “shoutcaster” will be UCI alumnus James “Jamerson” Lee. Fans around the world can watch the competition via the social video service Twitch.