Until the creation of Electronic sports clubs on campus this semester, there was no place for the gaming community to come together.
One reason esports President Miles Bagoly says he wanted to create the club was because he wanted to find people who played the same games as him.
“I just think it’s a lot more inclusive to have an esports club. Because a lot of the time, people [are] sitting in their rooms, [and now] you come out and come over here and just play video games with a team,” says Bagoly, a sophomore biotechnology major.
Vice President of Esports Brian Harner says that he and Bagoly have always been into games such as “Rocket League” and “Call of Duty.” He says they wanted to start a “Rocket League” team to play in professional collegiate tournaments and meet more people to find a third player for their team.
“Miles kind of transformed the idea of a Rocket League team into this whole big idea you have here,” says Harner, a sophomore biology major.
After knowing each other for a while and reconnecting in college, Harner and Bagoly came together again to create esports.
Bagoly says playing video games can be lonely because someone can just be sitting their room thinking no one else plays the game that they are playing. However, he said learning about and trying to gather the gaming community on campus can help students make friends and find people to play and queue within the games.
“Because really what the main problem that they have been having is when they solo queue, it’s like a miscommunication when they are trying to play, and people leave,” says Bagoly, “So, we’re just trying to stop [and] prevent that pretty much.”
The esports club consists of eight or nine games with about seven teams so far. A few of the games include: “Overwatch,” “Rocket League,” “Call of Duty,” “League of Legends,” “Super Smash Bros.” and “Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).”
“For [“Call of Duty”], it’s kind of boring [playing] alone. You’re doing the same thing over and over again,” said Abby Morrison, a sophomore nursing major. “Or rather playing a solo game like ‘Sims’ or ‘Minecraft,’ you can do a whole bunch of things by yourself.”
Harker says: “Because you want to come play, like you can come play, we’re obviously there to teach you how to play the games that we know and like for the games that the kids asked us about or told us to start. We’re going to try to put somebody to direct that team. We’re obviously going to facilitate everything. We’re going to do everything for it. But we want a directed captain.”
Bagoly says the easiest way to recruit and find more of the gaming community was by setting up a table at the Student Involvement Fair at the beginning of the semester.
“At one point, we were just swamped with so many people. It was really just from having a table at the club fair. Like 30 people in a half hour,” says Bagoly.
One way the community keeps in touch together is through a text and voice application called “Discord.” If something is especially urgent Harner says they will also email people to tell them about it.
“We have the CS:GO team. They’re making the most talk right now,” says Bagoly.
Finance major Noah Falcioni, a freshman, acting captain of CS:GO, runs it with his hometown friend, Anthony Pelaccia, a freshman. Falcioni says they both have been thinking about making a CS:GO team since high school.
To play CS:GO, five members are allowed on the team, for a 30-round game. Falcioni says the first team to 16 rounds wins.
With the club being a great opportunity to meet friends, especially for those like Falcioni who are just starting their college careers, and do not know a lot of people yet, it is good to get people on their team, says Pelaccia, who already has five to six people on the CS:GO team.
“Obviously we’re in the process, I guess you could say, of getting everyone together because we have a five-man [roster], but we all haven’t met at the same time,” says Falcioni.
Pelaccia says he has played with members he has met in the gaming community on campus.
“Currently our roster is enrolled into CSL, Collegiate Star League. It’s colleges around the entire country and even just North America in general because there’s like Canadian coaches as well, and we are in the open division, which means we’ll be playing other colleges,” says Falcioni.
Because of the roster, Pelaccia says they have the potential to get far into the professional gaming with the team.
“Well, I do know that ‘Counterstrike’ is kind of your niche game. Most people that play video games on campus don’t play ‘Counterstrike,’ ” says Falcioni, “It’s in that sense, it’s kind of hard to get players [into the game].”
The CS:GO team specifically also keeps in touch through Discord as well, says both Pelaccia and Falcioni.
“I feel like esports gives people, who don’t really go out to meet new people, [a way] they can broaden their horizon,” says Pelaccia. “Yes, you could play video games and you can have fun at the same time. Yes, there is competitive aspect. But there’s always people who are always nice and willing to be friends, even outside of their video game in the esports community.”
Falcioni and Harner say that joining the community on campus does not mean that people have to be good at the game, or even be competitive, and that learning or just joining the community can be for fun and for helping people get better at games they enjoy.
“We want to literally create teams that kids can play on and play together,” says Harner. “And hopefully develop them into the professional level or [get into] collegiate tournaments.”