This week on[ /ALL Chat](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5MysSilvMk), we interviewed Carman Lam, the founder of the UBC Esports Association and manager of this year’s North American Collegiate Champions!
Today, Carman talks about what inspired her to start the esports organization at UBC and how she hopes these experiences help her in the future.
Learn more about the UBC Esports Association on their website: http://ubcesports.com/
**How'd you get into League? Got a favorite role/champion?**
An online friend from World of Warcraft (WoW) introduced our group of friends to League of Legends in Season One after he had played the beta. When he stopped playing WoW, we started migrating to League. Fun fact: He was the Fiddlesticks in the famous videos of Hotshot complaining about his Nunu and mimicking Fiddlesticks sounds.
In terms of both design and playstyle, I like mid-range utility mages. My first main champion was Morgana because I play the warlock class in WoW and I thought they were thematically similar. My favorite champion as a video game character is Lulu now.
**How did you get involved with UBC eSports, and why'd you decide to work in a leadership role?**
UBC had a really successful StarCraft club (UBCSC) and a team roster consisting of Stalife and FireZerg. I wanted to achieve the same success for League of Legends at our school. I started searching if there was a League of Legends club at UBC yet. Instead I found an intercollegiate league called Ivy League of Legends (IvyLoL) which is similar to the Collegiate StarLeague (CSL) that UBCSC participated in for StarCraft. On their website forums, people posted looking for other summoners from their school to form a team and participate in IvyLoL. I found other UBC students, including our current support player, and we started a team together. From there, I worked with UBCSC and reconstituted the club as UBC eSports Association to include League of Legends and other titles.
I’ve always been a contributor to extracurricular clubs and a participant on sports teams. My high school life included either club activities or team practice before school, during lunch, and after school. In my first year of university, I joined over 10 different clubs and volunteered in 4 of them. I became a director of an 800 member club for two years and after resigning I wanted to challenge myself with starting an organization from ground up that could last for generations.
**How did you balance running this organization and your own school work? Got any advice for students trying to balance their work/play lives?**
I worked on UBCEA like it was a full-time job and studying became an important side hobby for me. We are all limited to 24 hours a day – even Ekko, no matter how many occasions he rewinds time – and we have to make good use of the time we can allocate. I was prepared to reallocate a little time from a little of everything to commit to UBCEA.
To students who want to find a better balance in terms of personal time management, I would recommend setting a schedule that forces you to focus on school for a fixed period of time so that you can dedicate the remaining time to other activities.
For example, I usually scheduled my classes from 9 am to 5 pm without any breaks in between. I would suggest avoiding long periods of breaks in between classes if you can help it. I personally find that breaks encourage distractions and procrastination. I only took breaks after school as my “pause time” to help me transition from school-work-mode to club-work-mode. During this pause, sometimes I would slowly do some homework and then all of a sudden I think of a great idea for UBCEA. That motivates me to finish homework quicker and eagerly start working on UBCEA next.
Furthermore, students should definitely take advantage of any advising and support the faculty, school administration, and student government can provide. While our community members, team players, and club executives will come and go due to the nature of college life, UBC will always be the backbone to UBCEA. Work with your school staff as if they are a part of your school life.
**How has the experience of running such a huge program affected your life after university? Do you think the skills you developed translate to your future career goals?**
UBCEA continues to shape my life to this day and it has helped me develop various working mindsets. After university, I have been looking to expand the club beyond the campus. As a working professional now, I felt it was much easier for me to contact businesses and personalities in the industry on behalf of the club and so I lifted some of this responsibility from the current executive team, who as students have an easier time operating on campus and interacting with the community.
I actually think it is a choice whether skills can translate to future career goals. UBCEA opened a career path that I had never considered before and I will definitely take the skills I have developed to the next steps that I will take. It also brought me closer to a lot of people in the community and industry who I would have never met if I did not run UBCEA, but it also pushed me further from a few friends and acquaintances outside of my gaming circle.
**Have you noticed students benefiting from being involved in the program once they leave university? Have you learned anything from League or being involved in the club that is relevant to school (or the other way around)?**
Players on our collegiate team like BobqinXD have been at the top of the solo-queue ladder and competed in the challenger scene before, but winning the North American Collegiate Championship (NACC) is the highlight of their gaming career at this moment. They grew a lot individually and as a team together; I am sure that they will value their experience from being a part of UBCEA. Even after winning the NACC, we are benefiting from media exposure and business opportunities that would have seemed unreal when we first joined the team. If they really wanted to, some of the players could have competed on a LCS team or at the very least on a top tier challenger team, but they wanted to focus on attaining their degree first and being involved in UBCEA can encourage students to balance gaming and studying.
I know of many students who have used their experience at UBCEA to take their next steps in life, whether it was outside the gaming world or inside. I have been asked to be a reference for job applications and postgraduate schools, so I find that really awesome. I am a big fan of interdisciplinarity, so a lot of times I intuitively take advantage of combining my academic studies and extracurricular activities to make work more fun and personal. I studied Japanese Language & Culture (yes that is a major) and Economics, so being familiar with topics like gaming culture or incentives of UBCEA membership sign ups can be relevant to school!
**Got any shoutouts you'd like to make? (Other people in the LoL community, UBCers, etc.)**
On behalf of the UBCEA community, thank you to Steve Jaworski and his team for making collegiate League of Legends an official community program at Riot Games. Shout outs to the other Club Founders and Former Presidents: James Choi, Michael Medley, and Adrian Fakstorp. Good luck to Hantao Yuan our next Club President. I started off working with Aaron Rusak and Diana Chan, my personal two-man executive team, and look how much we grew from 50 members to over 2000! Lastly, thank you to our club sponsors and supporters for investing time and resources to grow our community: Memory Express, Made in Print, Roam Mobility, DotaCoach, and DXRacer.