eSports thrive in quarantine

Although most sports have been cut due to the pandemic and government regulations, eSports is still a viable option for students who want to compete.

“SVSU has eSports scheduled live for Fall intramural sports,” said Brian Thom- as, the associate president for Academic Affairs. “Unfortunately, the challenges associated with COVID-19 have delayed the implementation of some eSports activities. However, we are looking forward to making progress this semester.”

eSports will now be offered as a club sport as well as intramural.

“We’ve already had a club on campus called ‘Press Start,’ and they’ve been doing competitive gaming for several years,” said Aaron Mowen, the director of Campus Recreation. “When we formalized having the conversation, we wanted to get those leaders involved.”

New plans were decided upon back in December 2019, with a physical space to be dedicated to eSports.

“Due to COVID-19, one of the challenges is that the physical space has been put on hold, … (but) the nice thing is that students can participate anywhere,” Mowen said. “Students tend to have their own gaming systems.”

He explained that the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged more participation in eSports.

“Because there are fewer options for students to compete, the pandemic almost forced (campuses) that weren’t familiar with eSports to launch (them as club sports),” he said.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 6 p.m., there will be an eSports interest meeting held over Zoom. Students can RSVP to campus-

“I know students are already running this and getting together,” Mowen said. “We want to formalize it so they can compete against other schools, versus just on-campus.”

Mowen said the club is hoping for 15-25 students.

“I know ‘Press Start’ has a good following,” he said. “Sometimes 40-100 people come to these different events. eSports is an umbrella for all competitive gaming.”

Games typically include Madden, NBA 2K, Call of Duty and Rocket League. However, students can start up additional games based on what types of games a group specializes in.

The Campus Recreation website has more information regarding events going on this year.

“Even though the (campus recreation) building is closed, we’re still having all sorts of programming,” Mowen said.

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