Thursday, April 9

UCLA Esports to become official club sport in 2018-2019 school year

The Esports @UCLA group became an officially sanctioned Club Sport on Thursday. The squads will compete in Tespa tournaments and other collegiate matches across the country next year. (Quanzhao He/Daily Bruin)

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated each team member was awarded $3,000 in the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship. In fact, each member was awarded $6,000.

This post was updated July 6 at 12:36 p.m.

The UCLA club sports scene welcomed a new member to its ranks Thursday.

Esports @UCLA was officially added to the UCLA Recreation and Club Sports list for the 2018-2019 school year. Members of the esports group and the school administration met over the past year to discuss the move to make collegiate gaming a school-backed sport.

The club sports team, which will compete under the banner of UCLA Esports, will consist of a number of junior varsity and varsity squads for each individual gaming title the group competes in. The group will encompass major esports titles such as “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” “Hearthstone,” “Dota 2” and “Heroes of the Storm.”

The new Bruin teams will compete in a number of collegiate, national and international tournaments over the course of the season. Many intercollegiate college tournaments have already been held through Tespa, the network that connects college clubs across the nation and awards about $1.3 million dollars in scholarship money every season. Tespa hosts matches for over 25,000 athletes from over 1,200 schools located in the United States and Canada.

The Bruins already have one successful squad in their ranks. The Hearthstone squad finished second in the nation at the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship this year, where each team member was awarded $6,000 in scholarship money.

Recruitment to both junior varsity and varsity teams will begin in August, said Cole Schwartz, the club’s new director of esports. The Esports @UCLA group is also seeking out team managers, analysts and coaching staffers for the different squads.

Sports senior staff

McCarthy is currently a Sports senior staff writer. He was an assistant Sports editor in 2018-2019 for the men's tennis, women's soccer, track and field and men's volleyball beats. McCarthy was previously a reporter on the men's volleyball and men's water polo beats. He is a third-year English and history student from Atlanta, Georgia. McCarthy is an avid Tottenham Hotspur and Conor McGregor fan.

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.