Combining video games and university studies can lead to several careers

Student life
Gamer playing e-sports on computer.
Who says that video games are just frivolous pastimes? Well, ten young gamers at the University of Ottawa have proven the opposite. These students, who hope to work in the video game field, have each earned $2500 Ontario scholarships, demonstrating the importance that video games can have on the direction and development of their careers.

What are e-sports? Short for electronic sports, e-sports is a term that includes any game that allows players to play one another in competitions or tournaments by way of an electronic platform  (such as a computer, console or tablet). These competitions are attracting a growing fanbase estimated at over 500 million people around the world! 

E-sports at the University of Ottawa 

At uOttawa, these sports have their own club, which caters to occasional, elite, and professional players. 

To date, the club boasts over 2000 members who are enrolled in various academic programs at uOttawa, including law, management and engineering. Given that it is home to 22 teams, the club regularly organizes events and tournaments.  

E-sports also features prominently in a number of jobs and careers in fields as diverse as law, marketing, nutrition, mental performance, coaching, IT, and event planning, to name just a few.  

The ten e-sport talents from the University of Ottawa who earned an Ontario scholarship reflect this diversity of possible careers and all the potential of e-sports itself. Learn about their plans for the future and the games that made the difference!  

Marie Dykukha aka Drakaress: A career in intellectual property in the video game industry 

Marie would like to be a business lawyer specializing in intellectual property in the video game industry. She believes it would fulfil her passion for gaming, as she would be involved in every step of a game’s creation, while also being able to assist companies.  

Marie Dykukha
League of Legends 

“I love that League of Legends is in a constant state of evolution, always pushing you to adapt to reach the top.”

Marie Dykukha aka Drakaress 

— Licentiate in Law (LLL), 3rd year  

Cedric Dimatulac aka NerdCedric: A career as a top 100 Smash player 

Cedric would like to become a sponsored top 100 Smash player. He wishes to balance his skills in gaming with a career in event organization or esports team management, one that makes use of the programming and management skills he’s learning in university. 

Cedric Dimatulac
Super Smash Bros 

“Learning how Super Smash Bros is designed, with its deep mechanics and an emphasis on movement, made for a game that got me into competitive games.”

Cedric Dimatulac aka NerdCedric 

— BSc in Computer Science, 2nd year 

Bihango Sarkar aka 4eST: A career in video game development 

Bihango is considering a career in video game development, specifically in UI/UX design, as he believes that UI design is often overlooked. “I’d love to work at a company that focuses on online games, like Riot, Valve or Ubisoft.”  

Bihango Sarkar
Super Smash Bros Melee 

“My older brother introduced me to Super Smash Bros Melee, and trying to keep up with him ignited my competitive spirit and interest in video games.”

Bihango Sarkar aka 4eST 

— Computer Engineering, 4th year 

Albert Hou aka Gumbeepower: A career as a game developer or esports analyst 

After playing for many years, Albert has been able to gain the experience to coach other players and even play competitively. He can join the esports industry using his data science degree as a game developer or analyst for esports companies, even his own.  

Albert Hou
League of Legends 

“I was introduced to the League of Legends by my older brother in 2013 and have continued to play and improve ever since.”

Albert Hou aka Gumbeepower 

— Data Science, 3rd year 

Haoran Liu aka iClown: A career as an intellectual property lawyer 

As a future lawyer, representing a player, team or gaming company in affairs related to esports would be an ideal career path. Alternatively, I would like to participate in the creation and the publication process of video games as an intellectual property lawyer. 

Haoran Liu
League of Legends 

“The video game League of Legends stands out the most for me since this game was my initiation into the world of esports.”

Haoran Liu aka iClown 

— Licentiate in Law, 3rd year 

Samih Karroum aka pamsterman: A career as a game developer 

Samih wants to pursue a career as a game developer for Game Freak, the company behind Pokémon. He would like to be at the forefront of games development, as it would give him so much motivation to work. 

Samih Karroum
Pokémon series 

“Growing up, and even now, I have played every instalment of the mainline games as well as some spin-offs, my favourites being Pokémon Black and Black 2.”

Samih Karroum aka pamsterman 

— Honours bachelor with major in Computer Science and minor in Economics, 2nd year  

William Mallette aka Cake/TheCakeOfTruth: A career as a programmer and animator  

William’s dream job in video gaming would be as a programmer and animator on a larger-scale, story-focused project. He sees himself as part of a pre-existing team working on a game or series, or potentially as the leader of a team working on a project of his own design. 

William Mallette

“One game that has probably most profoundly impacted me has to be the UNDERTALE/DELTARUNE series, which inspired me to get into programming.”

William Mallette aka Cake/TheCakeOfTruth 

— Computer Engineering, 1st year 

Nathaniel Chung aka sprinklrr: A career as professional player or a developer 

Nathaniel wouldn’t mind becoming a professional League of Legends player, but he knows the road to get there is rocky. If he doesn’t, he would like to use his engineering and computer science background to work at Riot or Valve and develop the industry. 

Nathaniel Chung

“Counter-Strike got me into esports. The high-tension moments and clutches that happen in the game are unrivalled in terms of excitement.”

Nathaniel Chung aka sprinklrr  

— Computer Engineering, 3rd year 

Ashvin Kethiswaran: A career as an engineer and console or game developer 

Ashvin would either like to work as an engineer developing consoles or as a developer  working on the games themselves. Being a PlayStation fan, working at Sony in the future developing their next-gen gaming technology would be a dream come true for Ashvin. 

Ashvin Kethiswaran
Grand Theft Auto 5 

“Ten years ago, when I first played the game Grand Theft Auto 5, it really blew my mind, showing how large and open video games can be.”

Ashvin Kethiswaran

— Computer Engineering, 2nd year  

Peter Karpov aka Hula: A career as a professional player, a coach or a lawyer for players 

Peter’s dream was always to play professionally for a Dota 2 team, or coach a team. Knowing the competition is super intense, he also plans to work as a manager for a team or organization to help ensure their success, or as a lawyer for players or esports organizations.  

Peter Karpov
Pokémon Heartgold

“What made Pokémon Heartgold stand out to me was the quality of its mini games. I began playing competitive Pokémon with this game, and so my passion began.”

Peter Karpov aka Hula 

— Commerce and Juris Doctor, 5th year 

Find out more about the uOttawa e-Sports club and become a member.  

Find out more about Ontario Esports scholarships and the next competition (PDF, 82KB), from August 1 to October 31, 2023.