Complete strangers from UC Irvine teamed up for the Genshin Impact University Carnival and made top 8. Find out how they did it.

Meet the UC Irvine team, a team of strangers, that qualified for the Genshin Impact University Carnival.

From complete strangers to top 8 team

The day before registration closed, Sarah “sleepskills” learned about the Genshin Impact University Carnival and jumped into action, seeking out two teammates to join her for the competition.

She looked to UCI-related Discord servers, where she met Ara Ara and Mochi who were looking for a last-minute third teammate in the UCI Esports Discord server. 

sleepskills, an Earth Systems Sciences major, has been playing the game for two years and did not expect to compete in a tournament for Genshin Impact.  

Ara Ara, a computer science major, has only been playing Genshin for 5 months.  

Finally, Mochi, an undeclared freshman in the computer science department, has been playing since the game launched. 

The team had no expectation of placing in the tournament, their only goal going into the qualifiers was to have fun playing Genshin Impact in a unique way.

“Collaborating and strategizing as a team appealed to me,” Mochi stated. “I enjoy multiplayer content, which motivated me to enter this tournament with other fellow university students.”

Genshin Impact University Carnival: West Qualifiers

Due to their busy schedules, the UC Irvine team could not practice as much as they wanted to for the tournament’s qualifiers held on October 16th. 

During the times they could practice, the practice was split into two phases. The team first focused on running through all of the domains, trying out different team and character compositions. 

Then they went their separate ways to practice running through terrains to determine the best character to use while sprinting as well as the route to take.

They combined these strategies to then create their optimized run. For the sprint portions, the team opted to use three Yelans. 

The casters explain why Yelan is a great choice for the sprint portion:

Communicator, Planner, and Encourager

Despite being complete strangers at the start of the competition, the UC Irvine team continues to develop their team chemistry. 

When asked how the team leverages each member’s strengths, sleepskills explained that each teammate plays their own roles of “communicator, planner, and encourager”, that help them come up with strategies for the competition.

She went on to explain that Ara Ara works on team communication: “Communication is pretty essential in team games, and there's always one of us ([the] communicator) who asks questions/checks up on the other teammates and facilitates discussion on our plans and current situation.”

She identified Mochi as the planner who dabbles in the communicator role: “The planner basically comes up with optimized strategies, and usually has the initial thoughts on how to approach a situation while adding others' inputs to further optimize strategies.”

Finally, she stated that she played the role of encourager, saying, “As for the encourager, you could think of it as moral support and saying positive remarks to keep the atmosphere comfortable.”

This team collaboration landed UC Irvine a 24:31.74 finish in the tournament, finishing over four minutes faster than another team from the same school. Additionally, UC Irvine just barely beat out California State University, Long Beach who finished with a time of 24:56.75.

UC Irvine on preparing for the finals

Following their top 8 placement in the qualifiers, sleepskills has mixed feelings about their run: “We could’ve done better. I’m not sure if there’s a lot we need to improve on.”

The 24:31.74 finish from the qualifiers places the UC Irvine team in 8th place.

With preparation dependent on the finals rulebook and objective list being released, it is difficult for teams to immediately know how to prepare for the next phase of the tournament. 

When asked which school is their biggest opponent in the competition, sleepskills stated that Rutgers is their biggest opponent – with a finish of 20:00.92, four and a half minutes faster than that of UC Irvine. 

sleepskills shared that they do not feel any extra pressure going into a live LAN environment: “We’re going to try our best and be satisfied with whatever placement we end up with since we made this team with no expectations but to have fun.”

The UC Irvine team looks forward to meeting the other teams in Seattle and learning more about optimized Genshin comps that their team and the other teams come up with. 

How to Watch UC Irvine's run in the Genshin Impact University Carnival

UC Irvine will be competing in the live finals on Saturday, October 29th starting at 1pm PT. The event will be streamed live on the eFuse Twitch channel.

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