Utah Valley University’s esports team

Reading Time: 3 minutes UVU Esports is windy growing with its membership. Read the article on how you can find out more about esports and what it entails.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Over the last half-century, video games have become glaringly popular. From Pong and Adventure to World of Warcraft and League of Legends, evolution of the medium has been significant. Even more recent games like Fortnite and Apex Legends have further changed the dynamic of gaming.  

Utah Valley University’s very own esports team boasts multiple titles and includes coaches and managers, such as Helen Adams, who used to be former players. 

“It was honestly like getting hit by a bus. When I was playing, everyone was moving faster because I was dealing a lot with management while I was a player,” Adams said on switching from player to management. “When our coach left us high and dry, I started helping the managers out more, and that’s how I became a manager.”  

UVU esports is competing in eight different games, with more to come, including Valorant, League of Legends, Rocket League, Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, StarCraft, Overwatch and Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate. 

“Being on the UVU Valorant team has helped me make a lot of good friends offline and online. It also helped me get better at a hobby I really enjoy,” Valorant player Max Colledge said. “UVU Esports gives me a community of friends with similar interests that I can have a ton of fun with.” 

While Adams is a manager, she is also taking classes. 

“I am in classes at the same time. The zombie life is not that bad,” Adams said laughing. “With enough coffee in the morning I think anything is possible.” 

Adams schedules events, coordinates photo shoots, and even settles disputes between players and tournament directors for the esports team. 

UVU Apex Legends features three teams: Varsity, Junior Varsity and Team White. Each team consists of three players and three subs for the game Apex Legends.  

“If you pick up Apex tomorrow, it is not going to be fun. You are going to get your butt kicked,” Adams said. “But you will start to learn mechanics and who you like most. At that point you can have fun.” 

While gaming does bring its excitement, Adams also discussed how toxicity has plagued the video game culture. 

“In a general sense you can run into toxic people in public lobbies in live games. It is really sad because that can be a determinant factor if that person stays in the game. CSGO was too much for me and I chose happiness and I had to let that go,” Adams stated. “I think it is getting better because more people are talking about it.” 

In addition to the toxicity, Adams mentioned how it has been being a woman in the gaming community. 

“If someone tells me to go ‘back to the kitchen,’ they really think they nailed it with that one. The ‘make me a sandwich jokes,’ the mom jokes. I have gotten threatened, and my family has been threatened,” Adams mentioned. “It gets to a point where hateful and frightening things are said to women in all sorts of games.” 

The Apex team will enter another year of collegiate play and has mentioned how they are looking forward to seeing friends they have played with. 

Tryouts are scheduled for Sept. 26-27 at 6 p.m. and will run three hours each day. There may be another tryout to solidify their roster. 

Adams and the UVU esports team can be watched on twitch.tv/uvuesports and you can also join the group’s Discord channel to find out more information: discord.gg/uvuesports. 

“Students can join the Discord server for where we talk about games, play together, plan events and compete,” Colledge said. “I think that’s the most important thing, is we have a lot of fun.” 

You can listen to the podcast with Adams at https://open.spotify.com/episode/0XpE84Dt874CJq9sgqwMyL