eSports logo | Photo submitted by Ryan Slater
The world was put to a halt in 2020 and this included sports. Because of this, eSports reached its highest point ever in 2020 and continues to explode in growth to this day.
Because of people in quarantine looking for something new to watch, eSports last year exploded in viewership and winnings with crazy numbers.
Whether you enjoy these games or you don’t think these games deserve a seat at the table, the truth is that eSports is here to stay. As Mike Sepso, co-founder of Major League Gaming said, “It doesn’t matter if the old guard considers it a sport or not… It’s a matter of when, not if.”
What is eSports?
eSports is competitive video games with teams facing off against one another. It encompasses hundreds of video games, capturing the attention of millions of fans.
Just as traditional sports are also played competitively by high school and college teams, eSports has begun to trickle down to colleges, and even here at Wright State University (WSU). Over the past couple years, the club has announced its first big competitive teams in games like Rainbow 6 Siege and League of Legends, and has begun playing in tournaments.
Wright State Raider eSports
“You should think about them like any other sport,” said President of the WSU eSports Club Ryan Slater. “There are teams that compete to go to a tournament to be the best at whatever game they are playing.”
Slater, who has been president of the club since they began to build eSports competition, is working to push eSports in Dayton and the club forward.
“My whole goal is to take this club, and push it towards being the center for eSports in the area,” he said.
eSports exploded during quarantine. For Slater, the club has been able to succeed through the coronavirus because of the nature of eSports.
“eSports is independent of in-person events,” he said. “We’re able to still run our competitive teams and hold weekly events, no matter what. The world could burn, and we’d still be able to keep running.”
From a player standpoint, League of Legends Midlaner Branden Williams says that the main difference between traditional sports and eSports is the focus on working with your coach.
“In soccer, the coach kind of runs the team,” Williams commented. “I played defense when I played soccer, so as a defensive unit, we had to be constantly communicating. Playing league reminds me of playing defense because the teamwork between the players is just as important.”
Interested in joining?
“Come and make some new friends,” Williams said. “I’ve made some of my closest friends here.
It’s a great time to get involved with eSports, especially with tryouts coming up for their competitive teams. The tryouts for their Rainbow 6 Siege and League of Legends teams are coming up on the 23rd and 24th of this month.”
If you’re interested in trying out or just want to get involved with the club, you can reach out with all of their socials here.