Over one hundred people gathered to play video games using state-of-the-art gaming computers when the Esports club held their first social event of the school year on Sept. 22 at Center Stage.
The club typically holds events every month where members play against each other in competitive matches. Recently, however, the club created an intramural group that holds events for open game playing where anyone at any skill level can come and join. It’s not so much about competitive gaming as it is about meeting people who share common interests.
“We want to make this club bigger,” vice president of the club and computer science sophomore Ethan Overbaugh said. “We have a lot of PC gamers but we want to include more console gaming. We also want to make our events more casual where people can come and play games with their friends.”
One student, who is on leave from UVU this semester but still comes to club events, got involved in the club after attending a single event. “I joined last year at an annual event called the Heroes of the Dorm tournament,” computer science junior Harrison Manesse said.
One thing that made Manesse more excited to join was learning that the club was made up of various teams for each game with full tryouts and a varsity and junior varsity team. Come Jan. 1 Manesse hopes to land a spot in tryouts for the varsity team.
According to Manesse and Overbaugh, anyone can try out for the team because tryouts aren’t based on being good at a certain game. Instead, the club leadership looks at everything from how a player gets along with the team to playing style and personal strategies in the game.
One of the future goals of the club is to get scholarships for the team members. “It would be cool to get more experienced gamers out here and to draw them to the school,” said Overbaugh. “These tournaments have $120,000 on the line available only to college students.”
Last summer, the Esports team competed at a Super Smash Brothers tournament where the club took second place. The team competed not only against other schools but against gaming pros.
Although it fosters competitive playing, the club is hopeful that the opening of the intramural group will help increase the number of students who come to the events and foster a gaming club for everyone.