The rise of Esports
By TYLER POSPISIL
Electronic Sports, or Esports for short, have seen a rise in popularity dramatically in recent years. Esports is any videogame that can be played at a competitive level. The genres vary. Some popular ones are Dota 2, Counter Strike Global Offense, Smite and League of Legends to name a few. One interesting fact is that in 2013, more people viewed the League of Legends final match than the NBA Finals. League of Legends generated 32 million viewers, while the NBA Finals Game 7 had 26.3 million viewers.
This shows the popularity and the assertion of dominance in the Esport world. It comes as no surprise that with these statistics, UMW has a club for League of Legends. Just like any other sports team would, like club soccer, lacrosse, basketball and so on. The club offers many things like friendship, learning and competition.
Jim Brammick a junior at UMW, who is a computer science major, in the GIS certificate program, with a minor in information security is a member of UMW’s club. “I like the club because you meet like-minded individuals, develop friendships and maintain friendships, it’s always a good time when I go.” Just like any other club, you can go and make friends for life. They meet in Woodard 133 on Monday nights The time slot for next semester will be decided as it nears, but the place will most likely be the same.
Obviously competing is one major aspect of sports and the UMW League of Legends club also offers that as well as tournaments. They typically have one tournament hosted at UMW each semester, although they did not this semester. Instead, they held a statewide tournament at Old Dominion University.
Aaron Dyke, a senior computer science major at UMW, gave a lot of facts and valuable information about the tournaments. “Each team can hold their own try-outs if they want but typically it’s just a group of friends that get together to play.”
There was a lot about the tournament process as well, to get an idea about how the tournament functions. “The tournament dynamic is normally on the first day there are pooled round robins that consist of two pools of four teams. Then the second day there is a single elimination bracket that is created from the top two team from each pool”
And if a team hopes to succeed practice is a must. Aaron informed the paper that he practiced with one of his teammates for about 30 hours in preparation for the tournament in hopes to win it all. He also mentioned meetings on strategy to discuss the best method of attack would be to win against the other teams.
The UMW League of Legends club has a lot to offer whether it’s lighthearted fun and casual play, developing friendships that last or putting in your heart and soul to win. If anyone is interested in joining they have a Facebook page: UMW League of Legends Club.