One of the best college Overwatch teams in the land, University of Utah, joined us this week on CPOC. Demitri “Dog21” Dobaj and Andrew “Andy” Barbee shared their thoughts on what made them a good team. Utah ran the table, multiple weeks over the summer at the UMG Collegiate Clash, but didn’t reach the final four of HUE Invitational. We asked how they intend on proceeding in the Fall ’20 season. And also how they are able to compete against bigger teams.
Both Andy and Dog21 expressed just how different it is to compete with schools that heavily invest in esports. Like many schools, Utah is a varsity program, but traditional sports are still the bigger draw. Compared to other institutions where esports are more supported, Utah comes in at a slight disadvantage. Dog21 says the coaching and luck are a big part of Utah’s success.
Personally, I attribute a lot to our coaching, and honestly, just kind of dumb luck. We kind of, you know, just a really solid roster. Kind of fell into our lap. And we’ve just kind of evened out. The evened out the creases over time, developed a lot of synergy, and haven’t had that many roster changes over the past few years. And that’s pretty much it, because a lot of these other schools like Harrisburg, Northwood now coming out of nowhere and Maryville have put a lot more monetary investment and backing from the university itself into scouting and recruiting and, you know, actively building a really powerful roster that we really haven’t done. We have gotten some support. We do have a pretty nice practice facility. And, you know, we’re pretty lucky to have that. But, you know, we’re definitely underdogs as far as the amount of investment that those other schools are.Demitri “Dog21” Dobaj of Utah on Lopsided Investment
Finding The Balance
The two Overwatch starters also said that having the time to practice and scrim is limited. It’s easy to forget sometimes that these are still full-time students. Certain players may have heavier school loads that others, so a good team has to find the right balance. Andy, in particular, is a nursing student and told us what it’s like to have intense studies.
It’s definitely difficult. CoolABC, our other DPS players also in nursing major. So both of our schedules are pretty tough. But his is a little bit more tough than mine. But it’s definitely is definitely tough sometimes getting a balance between the two, but it’s doable. Yeah, I usually just practice at nights and then school work during the day. Stuff like that, you know, so it’s kind of like a 50/50 split, but I’ve been able to manage it well.Andrew “Andy” Barbee of Utah on School/Play Balance
The University of Utah’s Overwatch team aims to make waves during the TESPA season in the winter/spring. Make sure to give them a follow!