Director, UCI Esports

Mark Deppe

Mark Deppe currently serves as Director of UCI Esports, leading the effort to create the world-renowned program at UCI. Working closely with student leaders, administrators, faculty, and industry partners, Mark built a business plan that is both cost-neutral to the university and that broadly approaches the world of esports through the five pillars of Competition, Research, Community, Entertainment, and Careers. While at UCI, Mark has helped UCI break six world records and led their League of Legends team to a 2018 Collegiate Championship. Mark has a B.S. in psychobiology from UCLA and a MBA from Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

UCI Esports Assistant Director

Kathy Chiang

Kathy Chiang manages the arena and student staff for the Esports department at the University of California, Irvine. She graduated from UCI's Computer Game Science major after co-founding and leading one of the largest clubs on campus, The Association of Gamers. Recognized for her work with the campus gaming community and collegiate esports space since 2011, she was brought on as a key adviser for shaping the new esports program. Her favorite games include World of Warcraft, FFXIV, Path of Exile, and TypeRacer

Chief Operating Officer, North America Scholastic Esports Federation

Samantha Anton

Samantha Anton currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF). Operating out of UCI Esports, Samantha oversees daily operations including tournament governance and organization, event production and marketing. In her previous roles, Samantha worked in higher education event production, coordinating and supporting events for prospective and incoming students. Samantha is a proud graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a bachelor’s degree in Film & Media Studies and Political Science. Go Anteaters!

Performance Consultant

Taylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson is an esport performance consultant with the vision to promote health and wellness to millions of people worldwide through esports. He's built comprehensive health/wellness/performance initiatives for elite training,research, and education for 5 esports organization, 15 professional teams,developmental academies, and esport training camps.

Taylor consults organizations, teams, players, and startups on how to build strategic programs to enhance all aspects of in-game and out of game performance. He also advises starts up on go to market strategies for their products.

He has both a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and Rehabilitation and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Biology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning training, corrective exercise, nutrition, and sports performance.

Player Support Services Coordinator, UCI Esports

Hillary Phan

Hillary Phan works closely with both the scholarship teams and program staff. Once an esports intern, she now specializes in providing personal and professional development, team management, and event coordination. Hillary recently graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with bachelor's degrees in Criminology, Law & Society, and Psychology & Social Behavior.

League Operations, North America Scholastic Esports Federation

Jessamyn Acebes

Jessamyn Acebes serves as the League Operations Coordinator. She has been an active leader in the esports community since 2008. Previously, she worked as a supervisor and intern for UCI Esports, helping shape and cultivate the program in its inaugural years. She specializes in event planning, media production, team management, and training future generations of esports talent. Jessamyn is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a bachelor's degree in Political Science.


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