With the return of the Oceanic Challenger Series on May 2, the annual shuffle of teams entering and departing the league has once again taken place.
One of the new joining for 2019 is UTS Esports, based out University of Technology Sydney. They are one of three universities represented in the OCS, with the University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology also a part of the 12-team league.
UTS’ move into the OCS signals their first step into the world of esports, hoping to create a path that will professionalise involvement in esports for current and future students.
UTS Esports president Stephen Hanna explained that “it is great to see the university supporting a professional esports initiative which provides students with an avenue for professionalisation in a traditionally difficult industry to penetrate from a career perspective.”
“The move shows that UTS is truly committed to staying relevant and supporting its students by providing career support through the provision of well-articulated sports programs.”
Moves like these are critical to the expansion of esports in Australia, building up greater support networks to the level of traditional sports. It’s also a recognition by universities across Australia that esports is an ever-growing industry, and UTS is looking to set themselves as one of the trailblazers.
“The OCS is a great opportunity for UTS to move forward in esports. It is a booming industry around the world and this is our way to get on board and assist the growth of esports at UTS,” said UTS Sports’ club coordinator Samuel Colless.
“[We want to] provide an opportunity for UTS to take the next step towards playing professionally and doing so for their university.”
UTS held public trials recently for their OCS team, but the roster is yet to be announced.
The Oceanic Challenger Series will return on Thursday May 2 at 5pm AEST, where UTS and the other 11 OCS squads will make their debut for 2019. All of the games are scheduled to be broadcast on Twitch.tv/RiotGamesOCE.
Follow UTS Esports on Twitter.