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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

New Varsity Players Announced for the 2021-22 Overwatch Season

Article Originally Published by Lyndle Montgomery on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Lyndle Montgomery on North Texas Daily

The 2021-22 Overwatch varsity players are decided for their first season back in person.

“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is just being back in person,” Overwatch team manager and senior Chris Hamilton,22, said. “It’ll feel nice to get to go to some LAN tournaments finally.”

Overwatch, produced by Blizzard entertainment in 2016, is a popular competitive online first-person shooter where players compete in a 6v6 battle between a diverse cast of heroes.

2021-22 Selected Varsity Players:

Nicholas “Nich” Taylor, Sun “Sun” Kim, Robert “Aqua” Statham, Adam “Alias” Dommert, Isaac “AsPeCT” Boodt, Hawkins “Hawkins” Burns, Matt “Gatsbyy” Morales, Mike “Misicle” Starr and Versie “Jbird” Hodges.

International studies and Japanese senior Chris Hamilton has been playing Overwatch since its launch in 2016. Hamilton created the esports club at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, in 2019.

After graduating high school, Hamilton came to UNT to volunteer as a student analyst for the Overwatch team and later became the student coach the following year. This year, Hamilton is the Overwatch varsity manager and a Japanese Honor Society student.

Advertising freshmen Sun Kim and computer science freshmen Nicholas Taylor will be the newest additions to the varsity team this season. Before playing at UNT, both players played on the Overwatch Contender Teams Karasuno and Triumph. After graduation, Sun plans to use his degree to pursue the research field of scientific aspects of advertising, and Taylor plans to enter AI research.

Sun began playing Overwatch when he was about 17 after his uncle recommended the game to him. Before Sun played competitively in Overwatch, he competed in ESCA Counter-Strike: Global Offense. Before competing for contender teams, he often competed in LAN tournaments and placed in many open division teams.

Sun received his opportunity to join Karasuno at the Dream Hack in Dallas, where he was invited to start as a sub. Sun was a first-generation player for the contender team Triumph, known initially as Optic Gaming before it disbanded. When he considered competing in collegiate esports, he played with the Harrisburg and Texas A&M teams at South by Southwest.

At 20 years old, Sun said he took a small break from esports but made his return when he saw the opportunity to play for North Texas.

“It’s a good environment here,” Sun said. “Compared to all of the teams I have played for, I’d say UNT feels like we’re all here to not only play hard but also be in a place where we can support each other in this collegiate scene.”

Taylor’s childhood best friend talked him into playing Overwatch when he was about 13 years old. Taylor competed in open division tournaments and went on to contenders, where he played for about a year when he was 16. After competing in contenders, Taylor began trying out for collegiate teams.

Taylor said he ultimately found North Texas to be his home.

“They were the most welcoming,” Taylor said. “You know if you’re going to spend years with a team, you want to feel at home. You want to feel like they’re your friends, not that you’re just playing a game. Their hospitality was the kind of thing I was looking for.”

Sun said he is excited to grow as a team this season.

“Every single person matters,” Sun said. “You can shut down a great player. You can’t shut down a good team. It doesn’t just matter about the individual. It’s about the whole team aspect.”

Taylor says he most looks forward to finally getting to know everyone.

“I’ve only known one teammate before this year in real life, so it’s awesome getting to finally know-how other people’s personalities will match up with the game,” Taylor said. “Usually, when you’re playing on teams, people are thousands of miles away from you. But now, I can know my teammates and naturally see their perspective, not just on the game but on life in general.”

This fall, the 2021-22 varsity team will be competing in the NACE Star League 2021 Competition. For schedule and more information on the NACE Star League Competition, you can visit: https://nacesports.org/nace-starleague-fall-2021-competition/

Featured Image: UNT Esports gamers Mike Starr “Misicle” (left) and Issac Boodt “AsPeCT” (right) compete in Overwatch tryouts on Sept. 3, 2021. Photo by Zachary Thomas

Source: North Texas Daily

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