Esports gaming tournament brings record attendance

Jackson VolenecReporter

Esports club set a new record in attendance for its video gaming tournament on campus.

Students were allowed to play in a campus-wide competition in Engleman Hall on Friday, Feb. 21.

“We decided to go full force with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and just really start to grind that out,” said Esports President Miles Bagoly, “This game had the biggest interest by far.”

This is the second Smash tournament hosted by the Esports club on campus, with a total of 33 players who entered in the bracket. This was more than the previous tournament, which had just under 30 players.

“There are so many people here right now, it’s really awesome,” said Brian Harner, vice president of the Esports club.

The Esports club is planning on hosting several other video game tournaments in the future to expand the competitive gaming scene on the campus.

“We’re having difficulties figuring out how to get the PC and console games onto the school network so we can play them,” said Bagoly. “Once we get that figured out, we’ll have even more games we can play.”

Miles said they want to host a variety of competitive gaming tournaments, between first person shooters, fighting games, and more.

“We are definitely working on a Call of Duty tournament. That will be coming up soon,” said Bagoly. “We were even thinking Halo, so if people have an interest, we’ll have a tournament for that.”

The Esports club is open to hosting tournaments for any type of game as long as there is a big enough interest within the community.

Several students were ardent fans of gaming as a hobby. Some said they found the tournament as an opportunity to connect with other students in a unique way.

“I really love playing games, I’m an enthusiast,” said computer science major John Quiles-Soto, a freshman. “I’ve been interested since I first touched my PS2.”

Many people were hanging out at the tournament, with a few people who were purely spectating the event and not participating themselves. Some students had entered partially through and stayed to watch as well.

“It can be unifying to play games with people,” said Quiles-Soto. “It’s great to see everyone hanging around and playing games. You get to see people from the same culture and interests.”

The Esports club is a relatively new club, being founded this year and only recently getting started with hosting Esports tournaments.

However, the tournament organizers and club leaders are dedicated to growing the scene for future students to come and participate in events.

“I would like to work with the school and make this a legitimate entity; we want to make it a competitive environment,” said Bagoly. Esports is an expanding form of entertainment, as it has become a billion dollar industry that is rapidly growing each year. The club wants to make sure that Southern takes participation in the subject, as many college students have an interest in video games.

“We want to actually make it like a sport, almost. It won’t happen when we’re in school, but maybe future students will be able to get scholarships for playing video games,” said Harner. “It’s already happening on other campuses.”

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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