It’s been a year of new for us at Annenberg Media Esports. It’s been a year of finding our place in the ever growing, ever iterating culture of the USC gaming community. Through streams, articles, gifs and interviews we’ve attempted to question how the virtual world creates unity through diversity, trying to find where the world ends and games begin. The answer seemed to be hidden in divine’s own secret chambers, but I think we finally found it.

- Quiana
- Quiana "jaru" Dang, manager of the USC Varsity Overwatch team

So in celebration of this wacky year, we’re hosting the USC Valorant Cup tomorrow night at 6 p.m. Six teams will attempt to feast from the 19,500 Riot Point ($150 value) prize pool, donated by Anthony Borquez, the founder and CEO of Grab, a virtual and augmented reality entertainment company.

It’s unclear if USC will have a Valorant team any time in the future, but teams from the USC esport catalog, like the junior varsity League of Legends and Overwatch teams, will be in attendance. Overwatch will play under the name “Joe Jacko Fanclub,” however. Joe Jacko is the coach of the Varsity League team, but will be playing for team Overwatch in some kind of crossover episode of the esports variety.

“Joe is love, Joe is life,” writes Arjan “AA7” Atwal, a player on the Overwatch team in the tournament Discord server.

UCLA will also be making an appearance, with two teams representing their esports scene as well.

Schedule of matches
Schedule of matches

Maxton Zhang, a freshman studying Industrial Systems Engineering is heading the organization of the tournament, and thinks that the tournament comes at the right time given much of America’s state of quarantine. “We're probably going to be stuck indoors for the foreseeable future so having some light hearted competition and fun will be good for everyone's mentality.”

Some players, like Hovanes “Hovz” Terovsepyan have some experience with the game, but are participating “just to have fun tbh,” while others like Jaru are “READY TO ROLL, THAT IS ALL.”

Tune in to watch the matches on our Twitch page tomorrow at 6 p.m PST.