We are UCI Esports
At UCI, esports is about more than merely competing; it’s about learning, developing leaders and using games to make the world a better place.More than ever, esports has a unique opportunity to be a force for good. Even as we come back together, esports is well-positioned to innovate, inspire and improve the Anteater experience in our increasingly-online world.
In fall 2021, we welcomed our community back to campus and celebrated our five year anniversary. The arena is back open, we have a talented and passionate staff, and we are ready to take on whatever the future holds.
Through the support of donors, sponsors and the gaming community, UCI Esports has emerged as the gold standard in collegiate esports and has been featured everywhere from ESPN, to the New York Times, to NBC Nightly News. Our program funds 25 scholarship athletes, 50+ paid student roles and internships, and serves over 4,500 community members monthly through the UCI Esports Arena - all without funding from tuition or student fees.
We can’t do it alone...
While we’ve made huge progress since launching in 2016, we’re just getting started - and we need help as we look to reunite the gaming community and lead the way forward. We hope that you will help our students during this important time by making a gift on Giving Day 2023. Every gift not only helps financially but also sends a strong message of support to our campus community and stakeholders.
Your Giving Day gift will help fund scholarships, provide jobs and help prepare UCI students to be the talented, compassionate and dynamic leaders our world needs. Join us in building a global hub for esports - where academia and industry collaborate to improve competition, advance research, engage communities, create entertainment and launch careers.
You can also support us by following us on:
Learn more about our program
Competition: We have scholarship teams for League of Legends, Overwatch and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, some of the most popular esports today. We provide the coaching and support staff necessary for our players to regularly compete for championships and maintain a healthy life balance. In 2018, we were the College League of Legends champions and competed in the Fiesta Bowl Overwatch National Championships, UCI’s first-ever bowl game. We also support our student-led club teams and celebrate their success.
Academics & Research: Our program actively supports our world-class games scholars, connecting them to a large population of both elite and recreational gamers. Along with the Informatics department, we co-host an annual conference (UCI Esports Conference) to bring top academics together with industry representatives to talk about the latest research in esports.
Community: UCI has a massive community of games fans, and our gaming clubs are among the largest student organizations on campus. We provide space, resources, and mentorship for the clubs to flourish. We also partner with NASEF, a non-profit scholastic esports organization, to provide a competitive league experience, club support, and curriculum for our youth. Additionally, UCI Esports is leading the conversations around inclusive excellence: we became the first esports organization to create an Inclusivity Plan to support the involvement of underrepresented communities in esports and have hosted annual Girls in Gaming summer camps for the past three years.
Entertainment: We hire and train UCI students to broadcast our matches live on our Twitch channel. Our on-air talent -- shoutcasters -- provide live play-by-play and color commentary while other students run the production behind the camera. We also host live events and tournaments in the UCI Esports Arena. Located in the heart of the Student Center, our world class arena is a model facility that supports all five pillars of our program.
Careers: We are uniquely suited for connecting our students to internships and careers in the video game and esports industries. We host events, panel discussions, and offer networking opportunities for our students and local gamers. Every year, we hire around 80 students in paid positions within our program and help them acquiring great work experience and industry skills before graduation. Many of our program alumni have found jobs in or adjacent to the esports industry, from esports teams to sales and marketing to content creation.