LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2021) — The 2021 Overwatch U.S.-Korea Virtual College Esports Tournament will be held in Busan, South Korea, a mecca of esports. Eight students from the University of Kentucky will be participating.
The tournament, officially endorsed by Blizzard Entertainment, will be held on Nov. 9 and 11, with the Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency as organizer, and City of Busan, U.S. Embassy Seoul, U.S. Consulate in Busan, Education USA and ROCCAT as official sponsors.
The 2021 Overwatch U.S.-Korea Virtual College Esports Tournament was planned and organized to promote friendship and cooperation between Korean and American universities through esports events.
A total of 16 universities, eight from each country respectively, are participating in the games.
The U.S. Embassy Seoul received applications from universities in the United States in October and the final participants are as follows: Auburn University; New York University; Penn State University; SUNY Buffalo; University of California, Berkley; University of Kentucky, University of Texas at Arlington; and United States Military Academy West Point.
The UK players include:
- Brandon Blackwelder, fifth year, College of Engineering;
- Andrew Durant, sophomore, Gatton College of Business and Economics;
- Nolan Hurford, sophomore, College of Engineering;
- Josh Bagaipo. freshman, College of Arts and Sciences;
- Jackson Spears, sophomore, College of Engineering;
- Mitchell Durbin, sophomore, College of Engineering;
- Alejandro Medina, sophomore; and
- Elliot Anderson, sophomore.
As for Korea, the top eight teams in the Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch Collegiate Tournament Season 2 will be given a chance to participate in this tournament. The Overwatch Collegiate Tournament Season 2 received applications until Oct. 27.
A total of 16 teams will begin their first and second round on Nov. 9 online. The semifinals and final will be held at the Busan Esports Arena on Nov. 11. Considering server pings of Korea and the United States, the league will take place on “Hawaii (gaming) servers.”
The semifinals and final will be livestreamed online both in Korean and English. A livestream will be available in Korean on the official YouTube channel of the Busan Esports Arena and Overwatch’s official Twitch channel while an English livestream will be available on the official YouTube channel of the U.S. Embassy Seoul.
The final winner will be awarded 2,000,000 KRW (approx. $1,800) in prize money as well as a scrim chance with an Overwatch professional team as an additional prize. Moreover, ROCCAT will provide the top four teams with gaming gear as an official sponsor. Also, if a team based in the region other than Busan advances to semifinal, they will be provided the accommodation and transportation support for their participation in the games.
“These matches between Korean and American universities are quite meaningful because they are organized and conducted through collective efforts of the City of Busan and the U.S. Embassy Seoul,” said an official of the Busan IT Industry Promotion Agency. “It is regrettable that the contenders are not able to see each other and have matches in-person due to the pandemic this year but we will continue to explore various esports programs to promote friendship between the two countries, so that this should not end up as a one-time event.”
Esports at UK brings together academics, community and professional development through a growing global sport and business. UK offers a variety of ways for gamers of all levels to get involved through events, Esports Club, the UKFCU Esports Lounge and more. This month, the Stuckert Career Center, housed in the Office for Student Success, will host Career Gamification: Prepping for Careers in Esports.
Wondering how to prepare for a career in esports? Want to network with UK's leading esports partner, Gen.G? If so, this event is for you. The event will have workshops on resumes, cover letters, elevator pitches and the power of networking. Students can register here.
To learn more about esports at UK, visit esports.uky.edu.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.