The Niagara University ESports teams compete in the Nest lounge on campus. (Images courtesy of Niagara University)
Fri, Nov 20th 2020 03:25 pm
By Alyson Mitchell and Gianna Lopez
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
The Niagara University ESports team consists of six different teams: Four teams consisting of FIFA, Super Smash Bros, Ultimate Rocket League and Overwatch all compete at the Electronic Gaming Federation (EGF) and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC); the other two teams also play competitively with League of Legends and Valorant.
ESports president and captain of the League of Legends team is Jacob Arends. Arends is a junior double-major in computer information science and history. As president, Arends organizes the teams, coaches, events, fundraisers and the social media accounts.
“We accept all students who want to join. Esports is truly a club where anyone who enjoys video games can come together as a community and enjoy the same interests together,” says Arends.
The Valorant team has recently competed at the Collegiate Valorant Conference running last September to early October. The conference lasted for five weeks. The team competed in one match per week. NU ESports finished in fourth place with two wins and three losses.
“While their results didn’t show on paper, they were able to put up strong competitive games against schools such as Virginia Tech and West Virginia,” says Arends.
The League of Legends team will compete in the spring semester in the Riot Scholastic Association of America as part of the MAAC conference. Last spring, the team finished in third place overall in both regular season and postseason. This semester, the team is hoping to grab a MAAC and national title.
Due to COVID-19, the teams have mainly practiced and competed from home. Before the Nest closed, athletes were allowed to come in during their scheduled practice time, however each athlete had to supply their own headset.
“It’s hard to compete as a team when physically separated. While you can hear the excitement and shouts, it’s hard to bond and celebrate when you can’t see everyone’s faces; it’s hard to bond when you can’t physically celebrate wins together,” says Arends.
COVID-19 affected team morale but it also affected their recruitment process. ESports relies on students showing up to game nights and watching their competitions for further engagement. This student engagement will not only boost team numbers but fundraising, as well.
The team, like all other sports, has a main roster. During competitions, the team has its main players along with substitutes.
Daniel Copeland is a freshman ESports athlete, a substitute for the Overwatch team, and computer information science major.
“Overwatch is a multiplayer competitive game, team versus team. During competitions, when our main group of people aren’t there, I…
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