One of Ryerson’s top performing teams has students competing internationally without ever leaving their home.

Ryerson’s esports Overwatch team is playing two seasondefining matches on Saturday.

After launching last year, Ryerson’s esports teams have put themselves on the radar in several different games.

Overwatch is a team-based game where players choose an offensive or defensive character, aiming to defend or overtake an area, or move an object across enemy lines.

The Ryerson team is competing in a national tournament hosted by Tespa, a North American university and college esports organization that is partnered with Blizzard Entertainment, the gaming company best known for releasing World of Warcraft.

On Saturday, Ryerson is competing against Michigan State University and the University of California San Diego, a fan favourite to take home the $7,000 scholarship prize money, which is given to each player on the winning team.

“We got a very difficult Round 1 matchup,” said Antony Xia, Ryerson’s team captain.

The eightplayer team’s biggest focus before their competition is to practise playing Overwatch together. Recently, they’ve increased their practices and have been able to pinpoint issues with their gameplay, said Xia.

“You only really know what your problems are when you actually play and lose,” he said.

To prepare for Saturday’s matches, Xia said the team is watching gameplay videos of their opponents to learn how they play.

He said they want to make sure they’re as prepared as possible to avoid any surprise losses.

“Besides that, we just want to play well on that day,” he said.

How Ryerson places in this weekend’s games will determine how many more matches they will play in the next round of the tournament, where a loss equals elimination.

Should they win both matches and place within the top eight teams in the tournament, each team member will take home $1,000 to put towards tuition.

Starting at 3 p.m., Ryerson’s matches will be streamed through Tespa’s Twitch channel, a video platform focused on gaming.

With files from Justin Chandler

Morgan Bocknek is a teaching assistant focused in investigative journalism at Ryerson University, where she is also in her final year of study. Most recently, she was a reporter for part two of the unprecedented Price of Oil series. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Moncton Times & Transcript, Snapd Newspapers, Today's Parent Magazine, Huffington Post and more.

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