The Cal Overwatch team won its second straight national collegiate championship, defeating rivals UC Irvine in a 3-0 sweep.
The team — Daniel “Alined” Lee, Kevin “SlurpeeThief” Royston, Gandira “Syeikh” Prahandika, Alexander “PaiGwut” Dam, Andrew “Quantum” Huang and Isaias “izzyyyb” Barrera — will take home upwards of $7,000 each in scholarship money provided by Tespa, which connects varsity video gamers nationwide.
Right out of the gate, Cal played a power-packed game against Irvine after beating the University of Toronto in the semifinals with a 3-1 series win.
Lee, the team’s unruffled captain, described their strategy for winning as “build ’em up, break ’em down.”
“Being two-time national champions feels damn good,” Lee said upon returning to UC Berkeley.
The Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championship was held in a packed arena at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and live-streamed to millions of viewers via the Twitch channel.
“Wow, did they put on a show,” said Mike Nealy, the Fiesta Bowl’s executive director.
Last year, the Cal Overwatch team defeated Rutgers, the University of Texas and the University of Toronto to win the Tespa national collegiate series, taking home $42,000 between them in scholarship money.
Overwatch was launched by Blizzard Entertainment in 2016, and has an estimated 35 million players worldwide. Its 26-plus heroes must carry out missions across volatile battlefields known as “maps.”
The roster is roughly divided into offensive players known as “damage dealers,” “tanks” who act as buffers to protect the team and “healers” who use their powers to cure damage. There are also flex players who can change roles.