Esports adds two members to their Overwatch team

Carl+Leone%2C+coach+of+the+varsity+Esports+team.+Esports+now+is+adding+%27Overwatch%27+to+its+roster.%0A

Courtesy of Oakland University Athletics

Carl Leone, coach of the varsity Esports team. Esports now is adding ‘Overwatch’ to its roster.

Christian Tate, Sports Reporter

Oakland University is setting up for their inaugural Esports season with a few select games. One team in particular has signed two new members.

The two new additions, Mark Kuzmanovic and Adam Kobane, have been signed to the Golden Grizzlies’ Overwatch roster, and their Head Coach Carl Leone seems to be ecstatic about it. 

“I am very excited to bring Mark and Adam on board,” Leone said in a press release. “These DPS players will be a solid foundation for our inaugural Overwatch season and I am looking forward to seeing them perform at the start of the season very soon.”

Kuzmanovic, coming from Macomb, uses the online alias of “HiddenHippo” and chose to come play at Oakland University for a litany of reasons. The newly-minted Esports program being installed for the school officially enticed him to sign on as a player. The stellar amount of academic programs offered at Oakland University and the scholarships he received also played a big part in him choosing to sign on. 

Kobane, otherwise known as “Skrrrt” online, comes from Sterling Heights, graduated from CSI (UCS Center for Science and Industry) and is looking to transfer the skills he learned playing Overwatch for fun over to the college leagues. He’s even reached the level of Grandmaster in Overwatch, which is considered to be the top 1% of all Overwatch players. 

The Grandmaster ranking, home to only the elite of the elite when it comes to Overwatch, has Kobane competing alongside and against top Overwatch League stars and some of the biggest Twitch streamers in the world. In terms of Overwatch, the Esports team has landed a member who is already considered to be in the upper echelon of competitive Overwatch and he is sure to grow while competing against the best that the Horizon League has to offer. 

He chose to sign with Oakland because of its close proximity to his home and the top notch engineering programs the university offers. He also said that, similar to his signee counterpart Kuzmanovic, the multitude of scholarships available to him played a part in his decision to sign on with the Golden Grizzlies as well. 

Overwatch isn’t the only game that has an official team under the Golden Grizzlies banner, though. The Esport category has extended to include multiple gaming titles with incredibly popular professional circuits and tournaments like League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. 

With Oakland University being the first Division I university in the state of Michigan to add a varsity esports team to its athletics program, collegiate gaming could become a pipeline to the professional gaming leagues for talented students. It will be interesting to see how the collegiate sport grows and develops from here.

As excitement and expectations grow for the newborn collegiate sport, the team has scheduled its first of what will hopefully be many future tournaments. Taking place on September 19th and September 20th, the Golden Grizzlies’ Esports team will take part in the HJE Invitational.