Chicago scrimmage moves team one step closer to preparation for IC3.
March 16, 2023 – Over the 2023 Presidents’ Day Weekend, the US Cyber Team® braved the Windy City to train for the International Cybersecurity Championship and Conference (IC3). The training was held at the site of the MVP VibeFest Track Meet, in an effort to bridge the gap between athletics and technology by exposing some of the top US track and field athletes to the world of cybersecurity and cyber sports while competing for awards in their sport. Seemingly two different worlds convened, showcasing the importance of collaboration and community outreach to inspire a new generation of cyber professionals and athletes, who will go on to make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.
Overlooking the track activities, 27 athletes, two coaches, and the Katzcy PlayCyber staff focused on Attack and Defense skills needed to prepare for the International Cybersecurity Championship and Conference (IC3). Athletes from our Pipeline Program also benefited from the training by participating virtually.
Spring Training Camp Goals:
Build a Team Culture
Improve Attack and Defense Skills Through Training and Competition
Reach Out to the Community to Champion Cybersecurity as a College and Career Opportunity
As athletes, coaches, and staff convened at the hotel on Friday night, it was exciting to see faces light up and conversations flow, as the like-minded group of individuals that had been working together in a remote capacity for 6+ months were finally getting to shake hands. After formal introductions, a few motivational words from our coaches, and the handing out of team shirts, the team ventured over to an iconic Chicago restaurant, The Berghoff, for dinner and further bonding before wrapping up the night.
Saturday @ the Track
Saturday marked the start of formal training activities and the service project portion of the camp. Bright and early Saturday morning the team loaded up on a chartered bus to head over to the Dr. Conrad Worrill Track & Field Center, where the day’s events would take place. The first three hours of the day were spent diving head first into red vs. blue training topics and challenges led by MetaCTF, a US Cyber Games platform partner. Some of the topics covered in this session included Linux and Windows environments, application security, Powershell and Wireshark, and forensics tasks.
Following the morning training session the team broke for lunch (shoutout to Pizza Hut!); shared some chocolate cake from Portillo’s and sang US Cyber Games Commissioner, Jessica Gulick, the happy birthday song; and supported the cyber exhibits hosted by PlayCyber at the MVP VibeFest USATF Track Meet happening downstairs. The day wrapped up with another three-hour training session spent covering red vs. blue strategies and tactics, custom tooling discussions, and rapid-fire red vs. blue challenges. Before heading back to the hotel, athlete nominations for Season II US Cyber Team captains were collected and team photos and individual athlete headshots were captured.
Game Day Sunday
On Sunday the team was exposed to similar scenarios and challenges they should expect to see during IC3. Athletes were required to maintain availability by defending key services while simultaneously attacking opposing team environments. Athletes were then assigned to one of five teams to test their skills in a four-hour red vs. blue scrimmage. Roman and Nicola from MetaCTF were on-site to set up the environment and run the scrimmage. As with a typical red vs. blue format, points were scored based on successful attacks and defensive actions, which were outlined in the service-level agreement (SLA).
“Our goal continues to be training as we will fight. Just like any competition, athletes are required to practice honing their craft through preparation, training and competition- competing to win then becomes natural. Our team scrimmaging in Chicago moves us one step closer to preparation for IC3”. -Ken Jenkins, SII Head Coach, US Cyber Games
Until the Next Training Camp
The February camp was a wonderful success. Our US Cyber Team shows great promise and the sharp skills needed to compete. We are proud of and thankful to the team for their dedication and commitment to the program. Many funny and shining moments were shared demonstrating teamwork, leadership, mentorship, and positive contribution.
Congratulations to all of the athletes on Team 4: Depressed Shell for their victory! And a big thank you to all Season II, US Cyber Games athletes, coaches, partners, and sponsors for helping make this possible.
Special call out to Austen for staying an extra day to reach out to a local high school with Nathan (from the Pipeline Program) to talk about cybersecurity games, college, and more. This kind of sportsmanship from our team is commendable.
The US Cyber Games program looks forward to hosting future in-person camps. If your company would be interested in supporting camps, please get in touch with us today.
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 together elite cyber athletes, coaches, and industry leaders to help scout, train, and send a US Cyber Team to the International Cybersecurity Challenge.