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E-Sports Club Aims to be Varsity Sport

Karina Krul, Student Life Editor

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The E-sports club on campus offers students a safe place to play games in a competitive environment.

“We play games but we do it competitively,” said E-sports President and Founder Charles Kmiec. “We offer students here a chance to show their stuff.”

This is the club’s fifth year on campus and their second year as a gold status organization. They have been growing in the last few years and are beginning to put on more campus-known events. This semester, on Dec. 9 they are hosting their first intercollegiate tournament in the Beckerman Recreation Center. The event, “Snowdown Showdown,” will run from 11am-11pm and offer a wide variety of tournaments and prizes.

The club hosts primarily tournament events and social hearthstone gatherings, but also holds some informational events throughout the year. These events include “Build a PC,” where club members teach students how to create their own computer and ultimately give away the computer that is created in the process. All of their events are open to the public as well as the New Haven campus community.

Currently the club is trying to achieve the status of a varsity sport on campus in order to attend more off-campus competitive tournaments and better support students across the campus community.

“Students that don’t fit the knish of being in that sports setting we offer that kind of difference and they like it,” said Kmiec.  

While E-sports has been gaining traction, it is still not as widely known and accepted in America as compared to other countries around the world. This has posed a fair share of challenges to the E-sports club on campus as they strive to expand and become recognized as a varsity sport.

“E-sports is a serious thing,” said Kmiec. “It’s making millions of dollars, kids are getting scholarships off of it and it’s gaining publicity. “It fits the definition of a sport, it’s a team based game, there are winners and losers, it requires some form of physical attribute in order to participate in whether it’s mentally or physically.”

Kmiec hopes that becoming a varsity sport will come with more backing and support from the already supportive university and allow the club to do more travelling to compete in these tournaments to bring home scholarships. Heroes of the Dorm is one example of a tournament offering $100,000 in scholarships to the winning team.

“The students winning these tournaments usually have backing from their university,” said Kmiec. “We want to make sure the University of New Haven is well-represented there.”

He explained that, while the club often establishes an unofficial meeting place at more local tournaments for members to meet up and attend as friends, the club has never been to a tournament because of financial restraints.

“Exciting stuff is coming to campus as far as E-sports is involved,” said Kmiec.

The club is planning an event in collaboration with the Greek organizations on campus to host an Olympic style event entitled “Geeks versus Greeks,” which Kmiec described as similar to the Olympic Games in the movie Monsters University.

Kmiec is hopeful that the club will become a varsity sport in the near future and get more backing and funding from the University in order to host more events and attend more tournaments. He believes that E-sports will see a rise in the United States and that colleges and universities across the country will start taking it more seriously when they see all of its potential.

“Within in the next five years it [E-sports] is going to be way more nationalized here in America,” said Kimec.

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E-Sports Club Aims to be Varsity Sport