E-Sports on Campus (Story #2 RD)

Morningside College recently became one of the newest schools to join the E-Sports community.

In Fall of 2016, Morningside’s E-Sports team got its start when the first students involved spent a day in what is now known as the Nexus, a long room originally used for extra storage but is now home of the gaming computers.

E-Sports means sporting in an electronic media, such as video games. Though there are significantly many and older games that players still use in competitions against each other, there are only two the Morningside E-Sports team is currently playing: Overwatch and League of Legends.

Dean Stevens, the professor in charge of the E-Sports team, said they use those two games because League of Legends (further referred to as League) is “the granddaddy of them all” and is what “really kicked off the E-Sports phenomenon as we know it today,” and Overwatch is the “new kid on the block.”

Stevens said this knowing that League was created by the company Riot Games in 2006, while Overwatch only recently came out in 2016. Though there is a ten year difference, the interest in the games is still present, shown through the count of over seven million Overwatch players in June 2017 and the most recent count of 67 million players play the game every month in 2014, according to Riot.

For non-gamers in the world, on the outside when players are yelling at a computer screen or clicking a mouse button an annoying amount of times per minute during gameplay, these games don’t seem all that appealing.

However, gamers know that despite the sore fingers after hours of gameplay or scratchy voices when either communicating with their teammates through a microphone or just yelling at a screen when they can’t, the fun of the game is why they continue playing.

Athletes in physical sports that require moving around know how accomplished they feel after winning their matches/competitions/games. E-Sports athletes feel the same and put in a lot of time practicing just to get a little bit better.

In fact, because of the amount of practice put into these games by the students, Dean Stevens offers scholarships for those just starting college. However, it’s not just because of the practice. Stevens sees the scholarships are for students working on skills outside of just clicking buttons.

He said it “requires a huge amount of investment and time, of your effort, it requires a lot of skills in terms of competition, in terms of communication with your teammates.” These things, and more, require a lot of commitment and effort for the game to be played well.


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