by Iris Wang
“It’s such a pity we lost to UC San Diego by 2-3 this time, but we look forward to so many more opportunities in the future to win it back,” said Shengxi Li, one of the UCI players and coordinator of the “Arena of Valor” Lantern Cup.
UCI students achieved victory in all seven rounds during the Final Four on Friday night and faced off against UCSD during Saturday night’s championship game.
The event was coordinated by the Chinese Student Scholar Association (CSSA) and was held in Middle Earth. The event was comprised of competing teams from UCI and other UCs, such as UC Davis and UC San Diego.
Wantao Chen, the chair of outreach department of CSSA, said, “It is a great thing that Tencent is hosting eSports games among students on campuses. It both advertises the company adequately and enriches students’ outclass activities. Especially at UCI which is the first school to start a Esports scholarship, this event promotes the establishment and development of eSport competitions as well.”
Sponsored by Tencent, the Lantern Cup attracted seven universities: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego and USC. “Arena of Valor” is a version of China’s massively popular “Honor of Kings” multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, played in two five-person teams. It is also one of the top-grossing game in the app store.
Tencent, the world’s fifth-largest social media company, launched one of the first U.S.-based eSports tournaments for the game.
The Lantern Cup brought top players together to compete. Tencent also offered grand prizes for the winning teams, with a $1000 prize for first place, $500 for second place and $300 for third place.
“Tencent’s investment in hosting eSports games among students on campuses [is a great thing]. It both advertises the company … and enriches students’ outclass activities.”
Despite the UCI team’s loss, Li said that he considers the development of eSports in school a great and bold idea.
“Because it is the first time Tencent officially held a video game competition among campuses in the U.S., it is a very attractive and effective way to advertise the game. It is a great learning opportunity for both game coordinators and Tencent, and lays out a platform for future development,” said Li