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Varsity Esports gear-up for Fall season

On Wednesday September 13, Miami Varsity Esports announced its 2017-2018 team roster.

After a week of tryouts, the full team consists of 22 members. Within each game -- Overwatch, League of Legends, and Hearthstone -- the teams are led by a faculty or graduate student team manager but primarily coached by student team analysts.

The Miami Overwatch team had great success late last year within the Tespa League Spring Series, and they look to continue that success within the Tespa Collegiate Series this fall. The 'Hawks' expanded their roster from last year's eight-person team to a team of ten.

With four returning players -- all who take on a different role within the game -- working with new players to fill the gaps may prove difficult. However, according to returning player Sam Yancer, the team still has big aspirations for the season.

"A big goal of ours is to get to the live finals," Yancer said. "It's a huge thing for us. It's going to be hard this year, but we're going to try our best. Then, I think we want to win the spring season, because spring is naturally where we're better."

Miami's League of Legend team has had a weekend full of competition during the group stage of the American Video Game League: Collegiate League of Legends Championship (AVGL). In the group stage, Miami is currently ranked second in the entire tournament with a record of 8-1 and will play their last group stage match on September 27 at 8:00 PM. If the team advances, they will move onto the knockout stage, where they will compete in a best of three, single elimination format.

According to Jungler Jacey Miller, only having one new addition to the team's roster will be its greatest asset.

"Since we have five returning players from the starting roster last year, we're going to have a lot of synergy left over and that will translate into us being really proficient starting off the season," Miller said.

This has already been shown through its dominating performance during the group stage, and strong promise of a deep playoff run with a chance to play live at one of the largest Esports stages -- Dreamhack Denver.

With a consistent first place ranking in both tournaments, the 'Hawks' Hearthstone team was one of the top competitors last year in the Tespa Training Grounds and Collegiate Series. However, during each round of playoffs the RedHawks were never able to take first place.

This year, the new team shows potential coupled with the drive to call themselves victors. While two of the three players from the active roster last year graduated, graduate student Mitch Mazzei has returned to be the team's head analyst. Of the three new additions, last year's analyst Brad Frysinger has joined the team's active roster. This will bring experience from both sides of the program to the previously successful team.

Every Miami Varisty Esport game will be live streamed at and commentated by team analysts.

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