Passion for IT and soccer turns into an esports career for Miami alumnus

Written by Tracy Miller, Marketing & Communications

Haitham AlgboryThe League of Legends game is a big deal in the electronic sports, or esports, arena and to play in a world championship is a gamer's dream. Miami University Regionals alumnus Haitham Algbory ‘20 is now living that dream on the gaming industry's biggest stage, serving as the League of Legends assistant coach for TSM, one of the most decorated teams on the esports scene.

Algbory's team recently won the league championship and is currently representing North America in the League of Legends World Championship taking place in Shanghai, China, through October 31.

Esports is a multi-player video game competition that's growing in popularity among young gamers. League of Legends is one of the largest esports games, boasting multi-million dollar prizes in championship games held in large arenas across the globe.

Turning his information technology degree into the career of his dreams was no small feat, however.

Algbory was used to facing challenges. Having lived in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, he moved to the U.S. in 2014 and finished high school by earning his GED in 2016. Having a love for soccer by the age of five, Algbory was eager to learn even more as he grew older. He was interested in many components of the game like coaching and team management. He initially wanted to be an analyst for a Major League Soccer team upon coming to the U.S. but knew he needed to earn a college degree to do it.

He enrolled at Miami University Regionals in 2016 and graduated cum laude in 2020.

One of his favorite memories at Miami Regionals: a communications course he took during his freshman year (taught by Judy Jarvis).

One of his favorite memories at Miami Regionals: a communications course he took during his first year (taught by Judy Jarvis). It was in this class that he knew he was in a great community.

"Since my family always encouraged me to get a college education, I felt that I had the path right in front of me; finish my IT degree at Miami University while continuing my personal research and learning about soccer at its developmental and professional level," said Algbory.

Algbory connected his passion for team sports and interest in IT to the video game world, when he became an analyst and later a coach for the League of Legends team for the varsity esports program at Miami University. Video games allowed him to put his IT skills to the test and he did not disappoint.

"When Haitham first expressed interest in working with the team, he showed me his practice scouting documents and blew me away with his ideas for strategy and coaching," said Phill Alexander, co-director of Miami Varsity Esports.

Still early in his career, he is already quite accomplished. As an assistant coach for TSM, he is onsite during competitions as the primary strategic coach for the top lane of the map. He is also charged with scouting, game preparation and data analysis.

Algbory is thrilled to be leading a professional esports team at this level. He strongly believes Miami Regionals was instrumental in his success.

"The teaching and guidance I received at Miami helped me to be where I am today," Algbory said. "I met so many great people, especially Dr. David Woods. I can't thank them all enough."

But he also left a lasting impression on the faculty. Senior lecturer, Donna Evans, says he's an exceptional graduate. "It's always exciting to see a Regionals IT student excel, especially so early in their career," said Evans. "He's doing some exciting work in Esports."

"It has been an honor to watch him grow into the professional he is now, and the Varsity Esports program is proud of Haitham's accomplishments," said Alexander.