The University of Utah’s Varsity Esports program will be holding tryouts for its inaugural Overwatch team on Sep. 1 and 2.
“Between 50 and 60 students are already registered to compete for the eight roster spots up for grabs” according to Joe Johnson, a U student who will be coaching the team.
Those not yet registered have until Thursday, Aug. 31 to do so. The registration form asks applicants to provide basic information like their name and uNID as well game information such as their gamer tag, skill rating, preferred role and most played character.
The tryouts, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, consist of multiple two-hour sessions where applicants will face off in six-on-six matches. Players’ assessments will be based on a variety of factors including teamwork, communication and mechanical skill.
Because the characters of Overwatch all have different roles and abilities, filling out a team isn’t as simple as selecting the six highest-skilled players. A good team will have a balance of attacking characters, support characters and tank characters.
Johnson said that he will have slightly different criteria for how he fills each role on the team, “A support character needs to have good communication and teamwork skills.”
An attacking player, however, will require more technical skills with the mouse and keyboard.
Following the first round of tryouts, a limited number of applicants will be invited to return for a second round of competition the following weekend. From there, Johnson and assistant coach Evelynn Le will formulate a roster of eight players (six starters and two reserves).
At that point, the team won’t have too much time to practice before competition begins.
A national tournament aimed at college teams will be team’s main focus this first season. The first round of action begins on Sept. 23, according to the tournament website. Teams that finish within the top eight of the tournament will be rewarded with scholarships of up to $7,000 per player, though that isn’t the only financial assistance that members of the new team will have.
“This year students on the team will receive $1,000 scholarships, but we’re hoping that next year we’ll be able to offer full ride scholarships,” said Johnson.