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Seven Sheridan students secure wins at Ubisoft NEXT Challenge

May 31, 2023

The Ubisoft Toronto NEXT Challenge has announced its winners, and once again, Sheridan students and graduates have risen to the occasion, winning first-prize victories in multiple categories. 

Now in its 10th year, the Ubisoft NEXT competition celebrates the exceptional talent of game development and visual arts students. The awards ceremony was held in Toronto on May 11.
Seven Sheridan students took home awards at the event, which brings together more than 200 students across Ontario. 

For the sixth consecutive year, a Sheridan student won top prize in the Level Design category. A Sheridan grad also took home top honours in the Game Design category, which was newly introduced at this year’s competition.

"By participating in industry experiences such as the Ubisoft Toronto NEXT Challenge, our students have the unique opportunity to demonstrate their skills and establish themselves as professionals in the field," said Theresa Scandiffio, Associate Dean, Faculty of Animation, Arts & Game Design. "I am incredibly proud of our ongoing achievements in the competition, as well as the unwavering support our faculty members offer to our students. Their dedication fosters an environment where they can thrive academically and professionally."

Ubisoft Toronto NEXT 2023 winners from Sheridan:  

• First place- Junsu Jang (Game Level Design ‘22) – Game Design category 
• First place - Ken Stevens (Game Level Design ‘22) - Game Level Design category
• Second place - Lucas Zakaria (Second-year Honours Bachelor of Game Design student) - Game Programming category
• First place - Xiangyu Chen (Digital Creature Animation ‘23) - Game Animation category
• Second place - Adriano Mazzucco (Game Development - Advanced Programming ‘23) - Game Programming category
• In addition to the honours from the NEXT Challenge, Kris Orel (Third-year Software Development & Network Engineering student) emerged as the third-place Game Design winner in Develop at Ubisoft (DAU) – an annual competition and mentorship program aimed at developing talent from underrepresented gender identities.

Jeffrey Pidsadny, Professor and Program Coordinator, Honours Bachelor of Game Design, teaches level design courses and mentors students as they prepare for NEXT. Through the Game Level Design program, students gain valuable insight and technical knowledge, equipping them for success.

"The ideas, practices, and methodologies we teach align with [Ubisoft], and so it’s become a natural fit for our students entering the competition to find such success,” said Pidsadny. “Our students' commitment to excellence, creativity, and ability to deliver exceptional work is awe-inspiring. My fellow instructors and I are honoured to have played a role in their journey and excited to see their future achievements and contributions."

Please visit Sheridan’s program pages for more information:


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