Div I Gaming Team Approved
Indianapolis, IN – On Monday, March 29, 2010, the NCAA announced that UC Irvine will be the first public university to have an officially sanctioned collegiate Division 1 Computer Gaming Team.
Computer Games have been a way of life for many students at UC Irvine since the early 1990s and there has been a club Computer Gaming team through the ARC since 2001.
“UCI has long been known as a titan in the [computer] gaming world and many students have factored that into their decision to attend UCI because we have such a rich pool of gamers,” Computer Gaming Team (UCICGT) captain Lee Cheng said.
The team plans to use the Science Library to practice and hold matches because the Internet is faster there than any other location on campus. Crowds for their 2010-11 season are expected to be well into the teens, so it is a good thing UCI built the Science Library instead of getting a football team or else the university would have missed out on all the revenue from the people attending the Computer Gaming matches. The team will compete against other NCAA sanctioned teams from around the country; with other universities expected to be approved by the NCAA within the next few weeks. The teams will compete in games such as World of Warcraft, Counter-Strike: Source, and Robot Unicorn Attack.
Cheng says that each team member is expected to practice on their own at least six hours a day on top of the teams’ three-hour daily practice.
“UCI is a great place to play computer games because the weather in Orange County isn’t very good so you have to be inside so much — that’s why I got into computer games,” Cheng said.
The UCICGT has started a petition to have a space on the UC application form for applicants to enter their World of Warcraft character levels or their Steam account ID number, as well as priority registration for Student-Computer Athletes.