Mika Kumar Student Spotlight
Malavika “Mika” Kumar has always been a fan of video games and anything “geeky.” Her first video game was Duck Hunt, which her parents introduced to her at the impressionable age of three. She has been hooked ever since. She was hooked ever since. Mika played games casually until she decided to play League of Legends with some friends in 2013. As she learned more about the game, she soon realized that there was a competitive side to video games with professional possibilities that caught her eye.
After committing to UC in 2017, Mika sought out gaming clubs and stumbled upon the UC Esports Club. Although most of the members of the esports club are STEM majors, Mika herself is a double major in fine arts and art history. She was a general member until she applied to be an officer in Spring 2018. She eventually climbed the ranks to become the club’s first female president in November 2019. At one point, she ended up in leadership positions for three gaming clubs! Under her leadership, the UC Esports Club grew from approximately 25 members to over 2,000 on their Discord server. Her most notable accomplishment, however, is being one of the advocates for an esports space on campus. Mika and other esports community leaders reached out to UC staff and expressed the club’s desire for a physical space. Their persistence eventually led to the UC Esports Innovation Lab.
As she prepares for graduation in April 2022, Mika reflects on the multitude of memories and relationships she has created because of UC Esports Club. “I am grateful for the club because it provided a fun environment during my five years at UC as well as invaluable leadership experience,” she said. Once she graduates, Mika hopes that she can eventually pursue something esports-related. “UC Esports has taken up quite a significant part of my adult life; it’s going to feel strange not being an officer, but I am very much looking forward to what’s to come. The club is in good hands, and I’ll always be there to help. And who knows? Maybe I’ll come back to UC under another position. For the time being, I’ll enjoy my break and being a member again.” Regardless of what comes her way, she feels prepared to tackle it head-on, thanks to her time in the UC Esports Club.