WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On Monday, October 16, 2023, the US Cyber Games® program, led by Katzcy®, was pleased to announce the top 30 cybersecurity athletes to be drafted to the Season III, US Cyber Team during its Draft Day event. An additional 40+ athletes have been invited to participate in the US Cyber Games Pipeline Program. Congratulations to the following Season II, US Cyber Team members who were recognized and awarded for their contributions to the team: S Meyers – Most Valuable Player (MVP); J Stearns – Rising Star; S Schulz – Team Multiplier; A Benderly and L Stratton – Alumni All-Stars.
The Season III, US Cyber Team Draft Day event, hosted in conjunction with the NICE program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Career Awareness Week, took place at DISTRICT E in downtown Washington, DC. Attended by cybersecurity professionals, students, and government personnel, the event was also live-streamed on the PlayCyber Twitch channel. Kylie Patterson, Presidential Appointee and Senior Advisor for Opportunity and Inclusion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s initiative—CHIPS for America—opened the event with her keynote discussing the CHIPS initiative, which will be foundational to our future national security and its interconnectedness with cybersecurity.
Athletes drafted to the US Cyber Team will represent the United States at various global scrimmages and the International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC).
“Cyber Games play a strategic role in preparing our cybersecurity workforce for a highly dynamic future created by digital innovations such as AI, Quantum technologies, or Biotech,” said Jessica Gulick, Katzcy CEO and US Cyber Games Commissioner. “As we enter our third season, the caliber of cyber talent is advancing, enabling our program to evolve from skills-based to helping athletes practice rapid triage, cognitive endurance, situational awareness, and teamwork.”
30 Athletes Drafted to the Season III, US Cyber Team
Of the draftees, 17 athletes are returning and 13 athletes are new to the program. Universities represented include Arizona State University; Brigham Young University; Capitol Technology University; Carnegie Mellon University; Dakota State University; George Mason University; Rochester Institute of Technology; Rutgers University; Santa Clara University; Texas A&M; U.S. Air Force Academy; UC Santa Barbara; and University of Central Florida.
Congratulations to the following athletes:
S Abbas; J Applegate; B Casaje; J DiVincent; S Donahue; L Gonzales; G Gordon; M Guarino; S Hajhamid; D Hasty; S Hayden; T Heinen; E Ho; J Ho; C Kanhai; A King; D Knoff; T Mata; M McKeever; S Meyers; R Patel; J Saunders; A Self; G Shupe; S Smiles; C Sounart; J Stearns; R Viswanathan; G Vongkasemsiri; and A Zhang.
46 Athletes Invited to Season III, US Cyber Games Pipeline Program
An additional 46 athletes were invited to participate in the Season III, US Cyber Games Pipeline Program. This program—sponsored by SANS—focuses on the training, mentorship, and education of athletes who participated in the Season III, US Cyber Combine and have demonstrated technical potential and an eagerness to learn.
The US Cyber Games program is supported by NICE, a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce, under financial assistance award #70NANB22H102.
Learn more about the US Cyber Games at https://www.uscybergames.com. Sponsorships that support the team and program are available for organizations committed to building a skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce. Learn how your organization can make an impact at https://www.uscybergames.com/sponsor.
As a certified Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), Katzcy is dedicated to growth, innovation, and progress. Through our PlayCyber® business line, Katzcy is helping build a stronger and more diverse community of cybersecurity professionals by delivering exciting cyber games experiences. Visit https://www.katzcy.com to learn more.
About US Cyber Games®
The US Cyber Games Team is a traveling esports team. Each year, new athletes are considered for selection to the team. US Cyber Games is committed to informing and inspiring the broader community on ways to develop tomorrow’s diverse cybersecurity workforce. Our mission is to bring cyber athletes, coaches, and industry leaders together to help scout, train, and send a US Cyber Team to the International Cybersecurity Challenge. Visit https://www.uscybergames.com/ for more information.
NICE focuses on efforts to close the hiring gap in the cybersecurity workforce. We are led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce and are a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector focused on cybersecurity education, training, and workforce development. Visit https://www.nist.gov/nice to learn more.