An increasingly popular esports video game has recently been introduced to AU’s intramural league. EA Sports’ FIFA, which focuses on professional soccer, is now one of four different sports leagues students can be a part of for season three of IMs.
After putting out a Twitter poll for students to vote on what sport they preferred to have in season three, Alex Certain, Laura Batts and Dan Teater began forming what would become the first esports league in AU history.
“We needed a new idea for season three of IMs, and it was my desire to bring in a video game platform,” Certain explained. “I felt that more students could be reached through video games. It seemed like there was a bridge that needed to be built with esports and IMs.”
All of the FIFA games are scheduled to take place in one of the classrooms in the Kardatzke Wellness Center, with each game being displayed on a large projector screen. A PlayStation 4 will be provided for each game.
“It’s always more fun when you have people watching you play,” said Teater. “It does make it more stressful, but that just plays into what season three of IMs is all about. We’re still looking to put the games on bigger screens for the finals.”
Certain, Batts and Teater hoped that this specific location and set-up would ultimately help to make the league more accessible while also bringing in more spectators for the games.
“I’m actually really excited about having the games in the classroom of the KWC,” said Batts. “I think that it’s going to be a really cool way for people to get more involved with it. It might have been intimidating if you didn’t have your own gaming system, but people can see that IMs is serious about helping run this league.”
With the growing popularity of esports locally and globally, Certain explained that he does not envision esports leaving the IM leagues anytime soon.
“We already have heard that there is a lot of interest from people in bringing NBA 2K in, even though it did not make it this year,” said Certain. “It could possibly replace FIFA next year, or could be alongside it in season three or another season. It would be cool to see video games represented in a lot of the seasons next year, but we will have to wait and see.”