12:06 PM

UST Esports Concludes Tryouts, Selects Players

Following tryouts, Assistant Director & Coach for the UST Esports Celts Program, Justin Pelt, announced a roster of 25 players to make up the University teams for Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, Valorant, Super Smash Bros, and Magic: The Gathering. Pelt also made a bold statement: “Esports is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, and UST is the most advanced and emerging collegiate esports program in Houston.”

The proud video game athletes earned their dedicated esports jerseys during a week of competition where they demonstrated the right stuff.

Pelt said, “We created time for all students who expressed interest in the six games we will compete in. During tryout week, we played a different game each day and did an inter-squad scrimmage with a couple of the games.”

The coach looked for how players performed under pressure and demonstrated mastery of mechanics like knowing how to position themselves to benefit the team, good aim, good communication and leadership.

“In a perfect world, I’d want a starting roster and a backup roster, and I got that,” Pelt said. “We have an A team and a B team, which is not necessarily a final roster. Anyone can improve over the season. The hardest working players will find their way.”

Three pillars underscore this untraditional athletic program at St. Thomas: academics, competition and community.

“As in traditional sports, players must maintain a good GPA,” Pelt explained. “We’re also looking to expand relevant academic opportunities for students. For instance, if an incoming student is majoring in psychology, perhaps wanting to be an esports psychologist, we’d like to create related academic courses rooted in esports.”

Pelt, who has competed in athletics and started programs before, is highly upbeat about his plan to build the UST Esports Program and its corresponding fan base. He is working on plans for a dedicated space where team members can come to practice and compete as well as get together to hang out and build community.

Moving forward in overdrive and ahead of its projections, the UST Esports Celts will compete in spring 2021 within the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

With fans in mind, Pelt encourages people to visit UST’s online arena for esports, where games are broadcast and archived.