The UBC eSports Association is a non-profit student gaming club centralized around the University of British Columbia here in our home city of Vancouver. They have an amazing history in eSports and have helped incubate several star eSports players including EG's Aui_2000 (Canada's highest paid eSports player). With Aui_2000 leaving UBC to pursue Dota full-time, the UBC Dota 2 Team does not play at a professional level.
UBC competes in the Collegiate StarLeague (CSL), an intercollegiate gaming league open to colleges and universities across North America. Expectations for UBC in the CSL Playoffs were humble - they're currently seeded at 65th. When league representatives predicted the outcome for the UBC team, they first said "UBC may potentially take a game, but it would be quite the upset." When predicting the second round game the league reps confused UBC with the California giant UCB. But despite the nay-sayers, UBC rose to the challenge and now stands among the eight teams remaining in the CSL playoffs.
In early March, DotaCoach.org approached the UBC team and offered to pair their members with some of our professional Dota 2 coaching staff. The thinking was that the UBC team contained strong individual players but lacked experience as a competitive unit. DotaCoach.org recommended some of our most experienced coaches and entered into a sponsorship agreement which paired the UBC team with mentors from Team ChW.
The coaches from ChW, kAitorA and assistant coach Rallphy, have over 20 years of competitive Dota experience between them and have competed for years in JDL Division 2. They are top players from Serbia who coach Dota professionally through DotaCoach.org to help support their dream of becoming professional gamers.
The team and the coaches met weekly over the past month. They play live games with the coaches commenting, they analyze recordings of skirmishes, and discuss strategies and ways to improve the team's decisions. Individuals from the team have had 1-on-1 sessions with the coaches, but overall the focus has been on building up the team's play.
UBC has what it takes to win CSL. They knew how to win long before we entered their lives - but the competition is getting fierce. There have already been some exciting games to avoid elimination; including a squeaky-close eighty-minute Game 2 win against the #11 seed, University of Massachusetts. Players on the UBC team agree that the coaching sessions have sharpened their edge and improved their chances.
For us at DotaCoach.org, facilitating and sponsoring this mentorship feels good. We can help young local players grow through competition while helping team ChW grow as professional coaches. We're looking forward to more upsets from Team UBC! Tune in to CSL on Twitch to watch with us.
UPDATE: We are pleased to share that they have advanced to the Collegiate StarLeague's semi-finals