When you hear the term e-sports, you may find yourself asking questions like: That’s an actual group? Isn’t that just playing video games?
You may be shocked to learn, then, that there is more to it than you may think. Having recently become a varsity sport, the e-sports teams have jumped into official seasons with as much excitement and spirit as a sport played on a court or field.
Before being declared a varsity sport, there were three campus teams: Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League. Last year, the season took on a routine of about three practices or scrimmages a week, and every Wednesday, there would be an official match or game against other college teams. The teams would all play in one arena space within a seven to 10 week schedule in the fall, spring and summer.
With COVID-19, practice routines and normalcies have only shifted slightly. Instead of three practices per week, practices now occur every day. Because there is no need for contact, teams are being signed up to participate in as many tournaments as possible.
Along with the advantage of little to no physical contact comes the ability to play in locations other than the arena. If a student is unfortunately quarantined, they can still participate like normal in their e-sport team as long as they have a computer and console in their room.
Precautions are also being taken within the main arena space. The players are not allowed to enter if they do not pass the Raider Check screening. Before sitting down at their individual station, the player sanitizes everything, even though they use their own equipment as to avoid cross-contamination. Their temperature is taken upon entering as well, and masks are required for gameplay.
Other than the changes to make sure all of the players stay healthy, e-sports teams are blessed with not many changes to their sport. They still come together and warm up together before every match, bonding together as teams before embarking on their missions and competitions. They’ll watch game tapes and form team strategies. They even have team jerseys that they wear on game days, proudly displaying their in-game names.
Just like other sports on campus, you can watch their matches. All of them are live streamed at https://www.twitch.tv/nwcesports, and they also have a Twitter account, @NWCEsports, where they announce game times.