Quinsigamond Community College has begun a new e-sports team for the League of Legends, a highly competitive, fast paced, action-strategy online game. Nate Mello (QCC learning manager for Interactive Media Design) is coaching this year’s inaugural team.
“We started looking into e-sports last year. Our goal was to offer a different kind of sport to engage our students who play online gaming on their own, to be part of a QCC team,” said Athletic Director Lisa Gurnick. “The push to move this forward this year is due to COVID-19.”
E-sports collegiate teams have exploded in recent years. According to the National Association of Collegiate E-sports, which began in 2016 with only six colleges and universities, by 2019 that number had increased to 128. QCC is part of the NJCAA Region XXI conference, which currently has five colleges with e-sports teams.
“Our e-gaming will be set up like baseball; e-game scrimmages will take place in the fall with season games and tournaments in spring 2021. The number of games will depend on how many of the colleges in our conference have teams in the fall and spring,” Ms. Gurnick said. “We will hold as many scrimmages as we can this fall. The master game schedule for spring 2021 has not been made yet, because we are still waiting a little bit longer to see how many colleges will join with the rest of us.”
League of Legends is a five vs. five game that pits players against each other with the objective of destroying the other team’s base. A competitive collegiate match consists of the same premise, with each team having five students taking on the other team of five students. Currently, the students log in to play other colleges from their homes. When not in a global pandemic, the game is generally played in an arena where the teams sit across from one another other.
“I think one of the biggest things for the students is the comradery,” said Coach Mello. “When playing a game like League of Legends, working together as a team of people who you know makes it much more compelling and fun. One of the students told me after our first week of practice that it was the most fun he has ever had playing League of Legends and he could not wait for our next practice.”
Players have been meeting online Monday and Wednesday nights for practice. The team is set to play a couple of exhibition games this summer against Bunker Hill and Mass Bay Community Colleges, with scrimmages in the fall currently against Bunker Hill, Mass Bay, Northern Essex and Bristol community colleges.
“There is still time to be part of the team. We are completely remote right now due to COVID-19, so space is not an issue,” Ms. Gurnick said. “Based on the initial support and interest from the students, staff and faculty, we see e-sports at QCC being quite successful. We have a lot of interest and currently have 14 students practicing with Coach Mello. We feel this is just the beginning of a strong student engagement opportunity for our students and the college.”
Those interested in playing can email Ms. Gurnick, students must be enrolled at least part-time in the Fall semester and full-time (12 credits or more) in the Spring semester. A valid (within a year) physical form and a GPA of 2.0 or higher are required in order to play. Lisa Gurnick can be reached at LGurnick@qcc.mass.edu
For more information on QCC, contact Josh Martin, Director of Institutional Communications at 508.854.7513 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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