Sports

U of A eSports 2021-22 Season Recap

The University of Alberta eSports teams continue to grow along with a successful Valorant team, eSports room currently in construction.

The University of Alberta eSports teams continue to grow as they construct a new eSports room. The Valorant team performed well, achieving second place in Conference One.

The U of A eSports teams compete in collegiate leagues in nine different games. The current games are Valorant, League of Legends, Rocket League, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and Teamfight Tactics. The club also has a Super Smash Bros. team in a trial period.

Jackie Hu, president of the eSports club and fifth-year computer science student, said that overall he is “happy with the results [of the teams].”

Hu primarily oversees the Valorant team and has set up a system of representatives that oversee each team.

“Most of the teams that I am overseeing are doing really well in their respective fields.”

Hu said that in the past year the Valorant team has been very successful. 

“In the 2021 – 22 fiscal year, we have made roughly US$5,000 in earnings,” he said. “[The Valorant team] has cemented itself to be the best collegiate team in all of Canada, and probably top five in North America in general.”

Hu said that the biggest achievement for the team was their performance in Conference One, a collegiate-level varsity competition. 

“We placed second overall, among a lot of top tier universities, including beating Northwood [University],” he said. “We lost to Carleton [University in the finals], but that was back when they were really strong … we [won against Carleton] pretty consistently over the next couple of months.”

Hu said that for the upcoming spring/summer season, some of the players are looking to compete in Campus Clutch, the world’s largest global Valorant tournament for students. 

For the upcoming year, the team is currently in the process of switching roles to fit the upcoming game changes. Hu said that there has been a lot of interest shown in joining the club.

“Because of our performance this year, and our placements this year, we have garnered a lot of interest in [the Valorant team].”

Hu added that the club is currently constructing an eSports room. He hopes that in the future this will bring more attention to the club and a “legitimate approach” to how the club is run. 

Serena Farrell, Overwatch team representative and arts student, said that this past year has been a building year for the Overwatch team. 

“We’ve had people who have hit top 500 [in the world] in previous years, and we’ve also had players who have never played competitively before,” she said. “So it’s been a lot of learning for everybody in general, and we’ve had a lot of growth over the past year.”

The Overwatch team competed in the collegiate tournament hosted by Blizzard and placed in the top 100.

The team also competed in the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE) Starleague, specifically the challenger division. Farrell said the NACE Starleague “is something a that’s a bit more our division.”

Farrell commented that both the team and individual members have seen growth through competing in eSports.

“We’ve been able to continue throughout [the COVID-19 pandemic] and still grow as a team,” she said. “[It is a] really exciting time, I just really want to thank my whole team, coach, and everybody.”

“They’ve put in so much dedication into improving their game honing their craft … [that] they’ve noticed results out of it and I’ve noticed it too. So it’s just it’s been amazing to watch and I hope to continue to help foster that more in the future.”

Martin Bendico

Martin Bendico is the 2022 - 23 News Editor. Martin is a business student with a major in Business Economics and Law and a minor in Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Management. He is also working towards a Certificate in Real Estate and a Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

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