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The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa esports program has been nominated for the best collegiate esports program of the year award for the second consecutive year, and its team leader, Nyle Sky Kauweloa, has been nominated for the collegiate esports ambassador of the year award. The public can vote for the team and Kauweloa on the Esports Awards website until November 30. The finalists were announced on August 25.

Vote now for UH Mānoa’s esports program!

The winner, to be determined by an esports panel of experts (75%) and public vote (25%), will be announced at the Esports Awards ceremony at the Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas on December 13. The esports team and Kauweloa were nominated by their peers across the country as one of 10 finalists for each award.

“I’m speechless. It’s an honor for me, personally, to be nominated for the individual award for the Collegiate Ambassador of the Year, 2022. Then, to have our program, once again, have back-to-back nominations for a top collegiate esports program in North America by the Esports Awards has been utterly amazing,” Kauweloa said. “The rewards that are being seen here, quite frankly, have been the product of years of building out a community of UH students who care deeply about our gaming community on our Mānoa campus.”

Program accomplishments

The esports program at UH Mānoa has skyrocketed since it began in 2019. Among its major accomplishments over the past year, UH Mānoa’s Valorant team is in the top four in the nation throughout 2022, after winning its first collegiate title last year.

UH Mānoa was also the host location for another Overwatch League tournament for the second straight year, after becoming the first higher education institution to host the league’s regular season tournaments, playoffs and grand finals in 2021.

UH Mānoa’s League of Legends team earned a runner up finish in the Mountain West division in 2022, and the team’s social media presence earned a top 10 ranking among collegiate programs.

More about Kauweloa

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Kauweloa was awarded the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for a Graduate Assistant at the 2017 UH Mānoa Awards Ceremony.

Kauweloa, a spring 2022 communication and information sciences PhD graduate and head of the UH Mānoa Esports Task Force in the College of Social Sciences, has been leading the UH Mānoa esports team since its inception. He has transformed the program to become one of the top 10 programs in the country in just two years.

He has also spearheaded curriculum initiatives in the esports industry, which is projected to reach $1.38 billion in global esports revenue in 2022, up from $1.08 billion in 2021. UH Mānoa now offers an internship credit course for students who volunteered during the Overwatch League tournaments, and Kauweloa also helped launch a three-course esports series in the College of Social Sciences.

Visit the UH esports team’s Twitter and Discord pages. More stories on UH’s esports program.

—By Marc Arakaki

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