Triton Esports awards 9 athlete scholarships
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The Triton Esports program awarded its first athlete scholarships at a virtual ceremony on Nov. 19. Nine students on two esports teams each received between $500 and $750 toward their tuition and fees this semester. The students are part of the inaugural Triton Esports teams, which launched earlier this year in line with a fast-growing worldwide trend in competitive esports.
The following students received scholarships:
League of Legends Athletes:
- Kyle “xCuhh” Delos Santos, Civil Engineering
- Daniel “Thresh Chobo” Lee, General Business
- Vincent “Shisui” Pajela, English – Linguistics
- Andrea “Kupo” Quitoriano, Master of Arts in Counseling
- Ryoh “YoRS” Sato, Accounting
- John “1ssok” Taman Jr., Master of Public Administration
Super Smash Bros. Athletes:
- Jonassey “Jonasheik” Dominguez, General Business
- Bill “Pokedranzer” Lactaoen, Undeclared
- Ronee “Capstwo” Pangilinan, Civil Engineering
“It means a lot that this program is being spearheaded and is flourishing because I’ve always thought the esports community in Guam would be big if given the right tools to succeed,” said Ronee Pangelinan, a freshman scholarship recipient majoring in civil engineering. “I’ve improved much as a person and as a player.”
Besides its entertainment value, esports plays an important role for students when it comes to team building and overall student development, Dean Lawrence Camacho said at the ceremony.
“It affords students who typically may not be involved in the traditional sports programs the opportunity to work together collaboratively, build strategies, and feel they are part of a team,” he said.
He said the esports program and the scholarship opportunities will also be important in UOG’s recruitment efforts of students from local public and private high schools, which have also launched esports programs. Triton Esports Program Coordinator John Wiglesworth added that the program is opening doors for UOG to partner with different types of businesses and schools locally and around the world.
UOG President Thomas W. Krise and Senior Vice President and Provost Anita Borja Enriquez underscored the value of this new program for the students and for the university overall.
“We can really put Guam on the map in terms of our skills and abilities and connections in the electronic world,” Krise said, adding that the specific skills the students develop through the program can lead to the pioneering of new enterprises and industries that, especially today during the pandemic, need to be imagined.
Enriquez assured the students that they would build valuable networks and connections by playing competitively on the team.
“You have fellow UOG Tritons who live across the continental U.S. and in different parts of the world who are also within the field of technology. Rest assured you have come on a particular community that is going to connect you to even more possibilities,” she said.
The athletes have practiced a cumulative 2,000 hours over the past 12 weeks to improve not just their gaming skills, but their physical fitness, mental health, and critical thinking abilities in working with coaches and counselors. They took third place in their first tournament over the summer and are presently competing in a multi-week varsity-level League of Legends tournament hosted by Latte Esports.
“There is so much that I’ve learned about myself and my team,” said scholarship recipient John Taman Jr., a master’s student in public administration. “It’s not just about yourself, it’s about your team. It’s about adapting to every situation and being respectful of others and the bonding aspect of the team.”