BERKELEY (CBS SF) — UC Berkeley recently added a brand new title to its storied sports history when the school’s team was crowned the new national champions of video gaming.
You may not recognize them, but this group of UC Berkeley students now have something of a reputation.READ MORE: Victims Of EDD Bank Of America Debit Card Fraud Could Be Taxed On Benefits They Never Received
Over the weekend, the team of video gamers from Cal competed in the national title game of the Tespa Collegiate Series competition. The atmosphere was like that of any other sporting event.
Called “eSports,” the battle of serious video gamers features televised contests and is a growing phenomenon amongst Millennials.
For the title won over the weekend, the Cal team was playing Overwatch, a fantasy shooter game that moves fast and can be a little hard to follow if you’re not plugged into it.
“If you’re new to the game and you see all the hectic chaos, the fights, it can be very confusing,” said Jeremy Chow, a member Cal Overwatch gaming team. “That’s how it was for all of us when we first started playing.”READ MORE: 5 Charged In SF Corruption Probe, Temporarily Barred From Receiving City Contracts
SlurpeeThief, also known as Kevin Royston, made his impact even though his character was constantly on the verge of death himself.
“A couple times where there’s the entire enemy team in front of me and none of ’em could hit me,” laughed Royston
In the end, the Cal team beat the team from the University Toronto for the title and, in the process, may have moved eSports one step closer to respectability.
“I really think it’ll have a huge impact on how the outside community views the gaming community, and I think it’ll be really good,” said Cal Overwatch gaming team captain Kyle Feng.MORE NEWS: COVID: SF Restaurants Use High-Tech Tools To Make Indoor Dining Safe
The tournament took five months to complete. For their win, the Cal team will split $42,000 in prize money.