The clicking of mouses, strategic conversations and a myriad of emotions is what you can find at an E-Sports Club meeting. E-sports has taken the world by storm, and it is starting to be introduced to the AU community.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of e-sports is “a multiplayer game competitively played for spectators, typically by professional gamers.” However, at AU, the E-Sports Club takes a more relaxed approach.
“We’re a bunch of nerds in a computer lab screaming at each other,” E-Sports Vice President Annabeth Turner said jokingly.
Turner and the president of the club, Hannah Gross, share a strong passion for video games that started as children.
“I started playing video games when I was really young,” Gross said. “My brother and I have been playing video games for as long as I can remember.”
The E-Sports club is building a unique community, which started around three years ago. The club was founded by a couple of engineering majors in the fall of 2016. Three years later the club has blossomed into something special.
“It all started with ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Overwatch,’” Gross said. “Now we are trying to play more console games.”
“I came here my freshman year and that is when the club started,” said Turner. “I saw the advertisements for it on campus and I was like, ‘Oh, that’d be fun, but I’m just a little freshman girl, I’m not going to fit in.’ And then one of my friends ended up dragging me to the first meeting and I loved it and I made friends and I even met my fiancé through this. It’s been great.”
The game that the club primarily plays is “League of Legends” by Riot Games. “League of Legends” is a five-on-five Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) with many different characters and classes.
“There are five roles on a team ADC (Attack Damage Carry), lane (Top and Mid), jungle bed and support,” Gross said.
“League of Legends” also has an impressive roster of characters with an amazing class system.
“There are about 200 champions available right now,” Turner said. “Each champion has a prescribed role; they also come with three abilities—two passive and one ultimate role.”
The E-Sports Club is also willing to teach the AU community different e-sport video games.
“We are willing to teach—we’re always willing to teach,” Gross said. “We are very open to literally anyone at this point.”
They are in the process of trying to expand their club to have more variety.
“We’re also trying to expand because it started out as several games being played, then it turned into everyone playing ‘League of Legends.’” Turner said.
“It’s just been the game that we all have in common,” Gross said. “We are open to playing any games but it is the same people who come in and that’s just what we like.”
“So hopefully in the next few weeks, we can start bringing in more consoles and apparently, there’s a ‘Rainbow Six Seige’ group that meets in the library,” Gross said. “So hopefully we’re going to try to rope them in to join the club.”
E-Sports Club also hosts events for everyone who may be interested in e-sports.
“We sometimes host different gaming tournaments,” Gross said. “We also host e-sports viewing parties, like the ‘League of Legends’ world championships.”
The E-Sports Club has their meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and they want to provide a space where any type of gamer can come and play.
“We try to make this space into a place where people can come and just enjoy their favorite games, provide a judgment-free zone and just get away from school for a while,” Turner said.
“We try to make it so that it’s more of a hang-out, like a chill environment where you can come and go as you please,” Gross said. “You don’t have to stay for the whole four hours. I’m usually only here for two hours. Some people will come later because we just hang out and chill. Even former students that are still around come back to hang out.”
The E-Sports Club wants to eventually become a varsity sport for AU. Their “League of Legends” team placed 4th in a Midwest tournament last year. They believe that the E-Sports Club can become competitive with other colleges around the country.