OCC Overwatch

Orange Coast College Overwatch competes on stage in a recent tournament at LA Mission University.

Orange Coast College is falling behind in a chance to be on the cutting-edge and be among the first to establish a funded esports program at the school.

While Golden West College and Los Angeles Mission College already have blossoming programs in esports, OCC barely has a single computer with the strength to handle the graphics necessary to play online video games.

The Editorial Board of the Coast Report feels that this is a lack of foresight from OCC’s administration.

While the OCC Overwatch team continues to dominate in the Collegiate Overwatch League, they are still left to their own devices.

We applaud the school in recognizing the talent of these students and seeking to help them, however, it only comes after the team had already gained moderate success on their own.

We could use UC Irvine as an example of forethought paying off.

They brought a funded esports program to their campus in 2016. Three years later, they now have a 3,500-square-foot esports arena with top-of-the-line gaming computers to help their e-athletes succeed in whatever goals they have in the esports ecosystem.

UCI has also proven that an esports program can be profitable.

In 2017 they reported a profit of over $7,000. This might not be much in the grand scheme of the campus, but they’re not losing anything. In fact, they’re gaining paid jobs, scholarships and a sense of community for their students. All it took was the initial investment.

Granted, they are a UC with what is likely more funding than our community college. Nevertheless, something — anything — besides some jerseys and some travel funds for our e-athletes would be a start.

OCC is acclaimed for the certificate programs offered here, so why not something for our students interested in esports? More than just the existing e-athletes may be interested in this exponentially growing business.

This new realm of business has created numerous marketing, finance, design, computer science, engineering and so many other job opportunities in an economy that seems so closed to newly-graduated workers— journalists included.

To have a program that would give the necessary experience to those wanting to get a job in this growing field would be monumental.

To give credit where credit is due, the college is trying and we thank you for that. An esports program is finally is budding out of OCC, but what took so long?

In light of what’s going on with COVID-19, perhaps a program that has built-in social distancing could be incredibly beneficial to implement. We’re stuck at home with nothing to do but be on our computers.

Let’s encourage some school pride by giving us a team we can support from the homes we’re stuck in. Give us someone to root for.

Esports has only grown due to popular demand. If the Fall semester is to be online, let’s get some sports online too.

The ASOCC has a $1.6 million budget to work with and a total of $200,000 going to our sports teams. Why is it a challenge for a team of six students to get more funding when they expend the same time, energy and motivation as some of our student-athletes?

We applaud you for almost getting there, but you’re a bit late.

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