Eagle Engineering Wins $10,000 Team Grant at Pro-Style Video Gaming Tournament

By Tommy Smeltzer
Photos: Cooler Master

Eagle Engineering students turned a casual pastime into $10,000 for their program in July when they won the Overwatch Cooler Master Invitational tournament at the ESports Arena in Santa Ana. This inaugural event featured the popular team-based video game Overwatch, which pits two teams of six different hero characters against each other in a variety of timed challenges. Esports, or electronic sports, is a growing phenomenon around the world with a global audience of over 200 million people. Revenue for professional gaming was estimated at nearly $500 million in 2016.

Cooler Master is a computer hardware company with offices in Chino, and specializes in components for custom-built gaming computers and peripherals. When they learned about the skills and experience gained by robotics students around the world, as well as the fundraising challenges teams face, the company decided to add their support. In getting to know teams it became obvious that there was a lot of crossover between robotics and gaming, so the Cooler Master Invitational was born. Business Development Manager Brandon Kovacic said, “Cooler Master is excited to have an opportunity to bring our passion of esports and technology together with robotics for this event. Giving the teams the ultimate esports experience while benefiting their STEM programs was our goal and with the help of the sponsors we were able to accomplish that.” They teamed up with LA Robotics, a non-profit that facilitates workshops, programs and scholarship programs across Southern California to solicit applications and select 12 teams to compete for a total purse of $40,000 in program grants. The tournament was live-streamed on the popular gaming site Twitch.tv.

The Overwatch teams in the tournament were comprised of students from 2016-2017 season robotics team rosters. Eagle gamers included Captain David Ardy ’17, Nicole Kuberka ’17, Daniel Brown ’19, Aaryan Wadwha ’19, Daniel Bedrossian ’19, and Ethan Mikahel ’19. Jonathan Huang ’19 was alternate. The team did all the work in getting accepted into the 12-team pool, and were guaranteed a minimum of $1,000. Connor Morse ’19 created video content and provided support critical to the team’s acceptance into the tournament.

While the Chaminade teammates knew each other well from robotics, many had never played video games together online, so it took weeks of practice and strategy development to hone themselves into a fine tuned machine in-game. “Two weeks ago, we thought we were going to come in here and get destroyed,” said Ardy. “Our highest individual ranking was mid-diamond, but some other teams in the tournament had top-500 guys. We also didn’t think we’d practiced enough as a team, but as it turned out, we were probably the most practiced team there. All that preparation and teamwork really paid off, but that’s just a normal process for our robotics team I think.”

The two-day tournament held qualifying rounds on the first day and a single-elimination bracket on day two. The Eagle Engineering team suffered their only loss in the second round of the qualifiers, and had to battle their way out of the losers bracket to secure a wildcard spot on day two, guaranteeing a minimum prize of $2,000. After two tough wins in the semifinals against Gryffingear, the finals pitted Eagle Engineering versus Code Orange in a best of five series. The Eagles squeaked out a win in the first round and then dropped the next two, setting up a dramatic showdown over the next two matches. The outcome was uncertain right up to the very last seconds. The crowd at ESports Arena erupted as the final seconds ticked down and the winner was determined in match five.

The money awarded to the team will help with registration costs and an upgrade to the team’s aging pit, the portable shop area they set up at competitions. With expansive program growth over the past several years, the team must raise approximately $20,000 in corporate sponsorships and private contributions each year in addition to their school budget to be competitive in all areas and serve the growing team with plenty of hands-on engineering and programming projects. “This takes a lot of pressure off of our fundraising efforts,” said Team Head Coach Tommy Smeltzer, “but we hope we will be able to enjoy this above and beyond our usual goals. There is a lot we need to do to stay competitive, so this money could do that if we are able to continue to get other gifts coming in.”

The entire broadcast of the tournament is archived on Twitch.tv. Eagle Engineering is a student-centered, competitive robotics program with a focus on a professional team approach to design, engineering, programming and business challenges. For more information on Chaminade Robotics and how you can support the team, please contact Head Coach Tommy Smeltzer.

Boosters Uniform and Spirit Wear Sales Begin in July

Boosters uniform and spirit wear sales begin in July and continue in August! Save the dates below and stop by either the Chatsworth or West Hills campuses. All sales, regardless of campus, will carry uniforms for both high school and middle school students.

Additionally, Dennis Uniforms now sells Chaminade uniform polo shirts, pants, shorts, skirts and PE uniforms. Chaminade Boosters will continue to sell school-authorized sweaters, sweatshirts, sweats (for middle school cold weather days) and its remaining PE uniform and polo shirt inventory throughout the year.

Chatsworth Campus
10210 Oakdale Ave., Chatsworth
Located in the Parent Center – around the corner from the Student Center/Cafeteria.

  • July 10, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
    In addition to the Booster sale, Dennis Uniform will also have an on-campus sale this day.
  • July 18 –19, 2:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • August 1– 2, 2:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • August 3, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Coincides with the New Family BBQ

West Hills Campus
7500 Chaminade Ave., West Hills
Located in Mundy’s – near the stadium above the football field.

  • August 6, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    Coincides with New Parent Orientation at the high school
  • August 7-8, 11:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m.
    Coincides with New Student Orientation at the high school

Want to volunteer? We would love your help with uniform sales.
Please visit our SignUpGenius page and volunteer today!

For more information email boosters@chaminade.org 

Early Bird Bus Registration Ends Friday

Bus registration for the 2017-2018 school year is open, and early bird registration prices end at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 16.

There is an inter-campus bus between the West Hills and Chatsworth campuses, as well as bus routes for the Conejo Valley, East Valley, and Santa Clarita Valley. For more information or to register, please click here.

Center for Excellence Goes to Maui

Final exams for Chaminade students ended on Wednesday, May 26, and four days later, 12 juniors and seniors, along with their chaperones, boarded a plane for Maui. The group left Southern California and began their summer vacation with an ecology trip through Chaminade College Preparatory’s Center for Excellence (CFE).

The nine-day trip gave students the opportunity to contribute directly to current research projects on Maui, as well as learn about conservation and restoration issues and efforts. While coursework involved snorkeling, collecting fish species data, surveying sea turtles, and more, students also had the opportunity to study the biodiversity of the taro plant at the Waihe’e Ranch. Their day began at 7:00 a.m. and they worked until 12:00 p.m. Students studied various taro plants, cleaned taro patches, and prepared new roots of taro for future planting. They then used their knowledge of science to make meaningful decisions on how to better live a sustainable and resourceful life.

The Ecology Project International kicks off the summer portion of CFE. Summer Session I officially begins with on-campus activities on June 12. Two more sessions run through July 14. For more information, please visit www.chaminade.org/centerforexcellence or contact the CFE at (818) 347-8300.

Commencement Celebrations

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Chaminade College Preparatory held commencement exercises at both its campuses last week. Baccalaureate Mass was held for the Class of 2017 on Friday, May 26 at the West Hills campus; and the commencement ceremony was on Saturday, May 27. Tassels were turned, and Eagle alumni welcomed 318 new members. Photos may be viewed on Facebook.

On Thursday, May 25, 8th grade graduation was held on the Chatsworth campus for Chaminade’s Class of 2021, which numbered 244 students. Please visit the school’s Facebook page for photos.

Congratulations to Chaminade’s graduates and their families!