Collegiate eSports | Submitted by Ryan Slater | The Wright State Guardian
Over the 2020-2021 school year, the Collegiate eSports Club at Wright State University (WSU) faced several challenges as a new student organization but persevered to offer a quality gaming experience for its members.
Goals for the semester
Leading the organization is President Ryan Slater. When Slater was elected in February 2020, the club was primarily based around the game League of Legends. Slater was tasked to generalize the club while having them focused on specific games.
“You’ll have that casual aspect of people who’ll come together and play Minecraft or whatnot, but if you have a Rainbow Six Siege team, they’re not going and playing League of Legends every day for practices,” Slater said. “A lot of the challenge over the summer was how do we build an organization that’s so fractured but yet needs to be unified as an eSports club.”
Another one of Slater’s goals was to foster engagement within the club and to continue to bring in enthusiastic members.
One way they accomplished this was by holding weekly game nights every Saturday night through their Twitch channel and Discord server, playing games such as Among Us, Rocket League and Team Fortress 2. These events have become a favorite of League of Legends team captain Connor McDowell.
“It was fun to play video games I do not usually play and talk to the members of the club who play them,” McDowell said. “It is always a great time and with the pandemic ongoing, it provided much-needed social interaction that was hard to find in person.”
Competing with enthusiasm
Teams throughout the club played strong competitive matches in games like Rocket League and Rainbow Six Siege over the school year. The teams are enthusiastic and proud to compete for WSU.
“We did not win as many as we would like, but that’s just how competition goes,” McDowell said. “We competed at a high level and took games off a lot of teams that were far better than us on paper.”
On the weekend of Valentine’s Day 2021, many of the eSports Club members took part in the charity stream Spread the Love with universities across the nation to benefit the organization A Kid Again. The event took place over 72 hours and raised more than $3,000 for the charity, according to Slater.
The club recently received a $10,000 grant through the Students First Fund for upcoming projects. As a newer organization on campus, this brought Slater and the members great delight.
“I was in class when I saw the email, and as soon as I got out of class, I immediately called the vice president like ‘dude, we’re in business,’” Slater said.
The club plans to use this funding for hosting bigger and more frequent events along with other projects that Slater announced through the organization’s Twitter account.
For the eSports Club, their semester culminated in them winning the Student Organization of the Year at the Student Leadership Awards, an honor that many of the members were proud of due to the club being relatively new.
One of those members was Rainbow Six Siege player Abner Conyers, who thought of the other clubs when this award was given and how the eSports Club was at the same level as them.
“Just being here is helping the club grow and succeed, and that’s pretty much the spoils of war right there,” Conyers said.