After five years, the Overwatch team is no longer part of the CSUF esports’ roster. The decision came on Oct.15 after the team failed to pay a fee to represent the program.
A Do Sports Easy, or DSE, payment is required by each member involved in CSUF esports for a team to be associated with Cal State Fullerton. Failure to pay the payment prevents players and teams from being able to affiliate with the program. After failing to submit their DSE payments, those associated with Overwatch were removed from CSUF esports’ discord server, which is the primary method of communication with the program.
Harrison Nguyen, manager for the Overwatch team, said that forgoing their payments came after internal meetings with the team. Many members felt that resources were not being given to Overwatch compared to other esports, which resulted in the group not paying.
“It really sucks, honestly. We were doing really well, but this stunts my motivation and other people too,” Nyugen said. “We’re like a ship lost at sea, and we don’t know if we want to continue pursuing the esport anymore.”
Other team members, such as Nicholas Munoz, said the decision also took into consideration that some players do not have sufficient funds to continue pursuing esports.
“In the long run, it seemed like it was more beneficial to not pay. Some people have jobs, some people don’t have jobs. Some people have the funding to be able to do this, some people don’t. But it’s unfortunate to see,” Munoz said.
Munoz also said the disparity of funding between CSUF and other collegiate programs played a role in the program’s availability of resources. He said that the esports division’s situation is unique because other schools directly fund esports programs to represent their school, which is not the case at Fullerton.
A lack of funding to esports forced students on the Overwatch team to compete by using their personal equipment, an issue that Munoz said he doesn’t believe is fair. This also contributed to the team’s decision to not go through with DSE payments.
“People felt indifferent because they were worried. Say we do pay — but we still aren’t receiving benefits. We still have to use our own PCs at home. There’s no lab at school or no PCs at school we could use. Some of our players had to pay their own computers to even be on the team or have a shot. So it’s definitely unfair,” Munoz said.
Nguyen said that the decision came with unforeseen consequences. While he said he was aware that the team could no longer represent CSUF when competing, ultimately, the decision not to affiliate with the esports division is irreversible.
To Nguyen, being removed from the discord was unfair, considering that was the only way of communicating with CSUF esports and other sources.
Nguyen also said, generally, there was a lack of communication between him and leadership at the esports division, which made things difficult for him as a manager when addressing the team’s needs.
“A lack of communication, not a lack of respect — well I don’t know what to call it necessarily, but it was very lackluster. They care about the more popular games, essentially,” Nguyen said.
Jake Sichley, the CSUF esports director, said he had no comment when asked about the situation by a Daily Titan reporter.
Overwatch has been a part of CSUF esports since the game’s inception in 2016. It is unclear if the esports division will add Overwatch back to their esports roster for future semesters.
Nguyen said the team still plans on competing in tournaments despite not representing CSUF esports.