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In less than five years since its inception, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa esports program has achieved global prominence, winning national collegiate program of the year in 2022, ranking in the top 5 nationally in multiple games and placing several students in successful international esports internships and jobs. Due to the program’s success, attention from tech and esports companies around the world continues to build.

In the spring 2024 semester, four employees from the world’s most valuable company NVIDIA—a leading technology organization specializing in graphics processing units for gaming, professional visualization, data centers and automotive markets—visited UH Mānoa to talk with students about future career opportunities with the company. Students asked questions about careers related to gaming and artificial intelligence, and exchanged contact information with the NVIDIA representatives. NVIDIA’s emphasis on hiring gamers was a real eye opener to the UH Mānoa students.

Kyle Yumen, NVIDIA director of test engineering, said the visit was “Refreshing to see the dedication these students are putting into their education and gaming. They’ve built a great supportive community and friends.”

UH Esports (UHE) is constantly looking for opportunities for students to interface with the broader video games industry,” said Nyle Sky Kauweloa, UH Esports program director. “A visit by NVIDIA highlights UHE‘s commitment to that goal, and the success we’ve had in standing out as a program. What also made this visit special is that the engineers at NVIDIA specifically came to UHE looking for gamers and esports players to network with and possibly hire for future jobs. At the end of the talk, they even asked the students to prepare a ‘gaming resume’ if they were interested in working at NVIDIA’s AI gaming division.”

Aloha Pacific FCU extends student scholarships

The UH Mānoa esports program has received a donation of more than $26,000 from Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union for the second straight year, extending the team’s first scholarship fund. Scholarships are awarded each fall to the five students who qualify for the fall varsity Overwatch team. Each scholarship is worth $2,000. With the additional funding, Kauweloa hopes to expand scholarships to students on the other teams.

UH Esports receives funding from the Academy for Creative Media System. Visit the UH Esports team’s X and Discord. More stories on UH’s esports program.

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