The University of Hawaiʻi esports program received a $26,250 donation from Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union, Hawaiʻi’s third-largest credit union, to establish the team’s first scholarship fund.
“We are grateful for Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union’s support of UH’s esports program and for recognizing the opportunities it provides our athletes, the esports industry and the state’s economy,” said Nyle Sky Kauweloa, UH Esports program director. “Esports is more than playing video games. Our athletes gain a wide range of experience and skills, including strategy development, time management, leadership and even sports broadcasting.”
According to Kauweloa, scholarships will be awarded beginning in fall 2023 to the five students who qualify for the fall varsity Overwatch team. Each scholarship will be worth $2,000. As of now, the scholarships will only be for the Overwatch team, however, Kauweloa said the program plans to award scholarships to students on the other teams in the following year.
Related story: Learn more about UH’s esports program
UH’s Overwatch team will participate in the Western Regional Qualifier for the Collegiate Esports Commissioners Cup in Boise, Idaho, March 3–5. This will be the first time UH’s Overwatch team will represent UH Mānoa for this event.
Since its inception in 2019, the UH esports program has won several collegiate tournaments and was named the best collegiate esports program of the year at the 2022 Esports Awards. Among its tournament wins include its first international title in August 2022 and first collegiate title in 2021 for UH’s Valorant team. UH Mānoa was the host location for another Overwatch League tournament for the second straight year in 2022, after becoming the first higher education institution to host the league’s regular season tournaments, playoffs and grand finals in 2021.
“Like football, volleyball, basketball and other athletic teams, esports athletes have to juggle class assignments, practice and training sessions, game day events, and sometimes, even a part-time job. Through this scholarship program, we hope to alleviate some of the financial burdens these talented esports players face,” said Vince Otsuka, president and CEO of Aloha Pacific FCU.
Visit the UH esports team’s Twitter and Discord pages. More stories on UH’s esports program.