UCLA has announced their League of Legends Varsity team.
Below is the full article by Adela Marie and Sunny Yen of UCLA Club Sports.
Announcing UCLA League of Legends Varsity
UCLA Esports Welcomes Four Freshmen, Promotes JV Jungler
Los Angeles, CA - This year's iteration of the UCLA League of Legends roster features four brand new faces looking to improve UCLA's placings in the Riot Collegiage League of Legends tournament. Joining the team are freshmen athletes Mitchell Wang, Christian Loanzon, Ivan Tse, and Noah Cook. They are complemented by sophomore jungler Erik Khong, who joins the team after a year with the junior varsity roster in 2017-2018.
Last year, UCLA was only one game away from qualifying for regional playoffs in the Riot Collegiate Championship, losing the deciding game to the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos, ending their year. This was yet another conclusion to a recent run of disappointing years that saw the team miss playoffs the season before, and get knocked out in the first round of tournament play by UC Irvine in 2016-2017.
Coming into 2018-2019, the team has seen an extensive changing of the guard. No members of the previous year's roster remain. In their stead stand four freshmen and a sophomore representing some of the best talent that UCLA has to offer to the collegiate League of Legends scene. Expectations are high for this year, but new varsity Head Coach, Richard Trifoglio, is confident that the team is up to the challenge. He says that the players' talent, as well as the training behind the scenes, will play a role in their success this year.
"The support from UCLA including its infrastructure and staff are all super amazing. To be able to have dedicated staff for each team with the support of Sunny (UCLA Esports president) and the administration gives us a lot of momentum going into the season," he added.
Noah Cook, a first-year support player for varsity, agreed with Trifoglio saying, "We have a lot of talent in both the staff and team itself, and I believe that our hard work this offseason will make that talent visible in January." Cook joins the team as the only member with previous competitive experience, having played in the amateur scene for Zenith Esports. He and new mid laner Christian Loanzon are expected to share in-game leadership duties after the departure of veteran bot laner Austin Quon.
Assistant Coach Albert Lee says that coaching staff will help the team improve its overall play. Lee hopes to personally, "assist the players in developing their own play styles and their overall identity as a team, mostly with focusing around making their communication fluid."
That would seem to be especially important, considering a brand new roster featuring players who had never played together before. Despite this, varsity members have said they feel like they are beginning to forge strong relationships and a friendly team environment.
Ivan Tse, the team's new bot laner, has described his team as welcoming and is excited to work with them. He looks forward to the competitive play, his own personal development as a player, and, of course, the fun that's to be expected this year.
"I really love my team," lauded jungler Erik Khong. "We all bond easily in and out of game."
"I believe that the team have the ability to win tournaments for UCLA and for ourselves" he added.
UCLA League of Legends gears up for Riot's Collegiate League of Legends Championship. Having started scrimming since August of 2018 as well as participating in Upsurge Minor League as well as the UCI Invitational, the roster opens the season on January 26th, 2019.
Your 2018-2019 UCLA League of Legends Varsity Roster:
Top: Mitchell Wang (Northwood High School)
Jungle: Erik Khong (Ronald E. McNair High School)
Mid: Christian Loanzon (Bellarmine College Preparatory)
Bot: Ivan Tse (Balboa High School)
Support: Noah Cook (Saline High School)