Cooler Master Invitational

//Cooler Master Invitational

Cooler Master Invitational

As I stepped out onto the Esports Arena stage to play our eighth finals match, I focused solely on the task at hand. I tuned out the roaring crowd and the bright lights to center myself around the challenge I shared with my five teammates: beat an opposing team of six players in a game of Blizzard’s hit first-person shooter game, Overwatch.

Wait, hold on. What does this have to do with robotics?

Here’s the thing – it wasn’t an ordinary day at the Esports Arena in Santa Ana, California. That weekend, 12 FRC teams from all over Southern California had gathered to compete in the Cooler Master Invitational – a competitive Overwatch tournament for FIRST robotics teams with a total prize pool of $40,000.

That weekend, we were more than just W.A.R. Lords. Our robot operator played the hero “Zarya”, a Russian weightlifting champion who could lift tanks with her bare two hands. Our head of software and strategy became Lucio, a Brazilian DJ sliding around on roller blades. And I was no longer the head of business and outreach – instead, I was Pharah, an Egyptian rocketeer with the mission of protecting the world.

At the end of it all, we walked away with $2,000, having been eliminated by the eventual champions in the quarterfinals. However, the money was just one part of the experience; what really made the tournament great was competing with FRC teams from around California in an electric atmosphere matched only by true FRC Events.

Head of Business and Outreach

Liam Fay