The beginning of a new semester brings a new year of sports, and this year, all sports are taking place around the same time. Not many sports on campus play two seasons, but one team that does is the esports team. Esports is a multiplayer video gaming league that plays competitively. There are multiple games that are played competitively throughout esports.
The Esports team at Greenville University is fairly new to campus. Esports is a varsity club team here on campus. The head coach of the esports team is BJ Fink. A Greenville University alumnus himself, he’s pretty familiar with the campus and the direction in which the school wants to go. Before coming back to Greenville, he was a head women’s soccer coach in his home state of Arkansas.
The esports team is mainly PC, but there are certain games played on a console like Super Smash Bros. PC is the most used system due to the speed, graphics, and internet connection. Some games like Apex and Fortnite people will use a controller at times, but a keyboard and mouse are used most often. The PC systems cost around $2,000 for each system. At the moment the esports team has twelve competition PC systems and will be adding six more in the upcoming year. The oldest systems are switched out every three years. They’re sponsored by Gravity Gaming, which will give free items for the system when needed. Other sponsors include Solar Bat Sunglasses, Aternos, and the Mountain Dew Game Fuel program.
A match for esports can consist of a squad of two to six people, depending on the game that is being played. To start the match, everyone will log in and invite the opponent to a private match or the opponent will invite them. To report a final score of a match, the players will report to the organization that the match is being played through. On the organization’s website, the score will be reported and a video recording of the gameplay will be posted. The video helps the organization know that there is no cheating going on and that the score reported is correct. With an esports season, it is usually nine weeks long with one match being played each week. As the season goes on, the wins and losses are tallied. The top twenty percent of squads from the tournament will compete in the playoffs.
The roster consists of thirty-three players. Those players are split up into two semesters with students having other sports and timely commitments. Players are also split up into certain games that are played. Fink explains the esports roster and how it compares to other sports. “ It’s kind of like track and field where you have athletes for different events. We just have different games.”
The esports season is kicking off and the team is ready to take on the new season. It will be interesting to see how their season will play out.
Media by Wyatt Moser.