Teresa Aguilera, OMN Illustrator
In the last few years, the Esports market has boomed. The global Esports audience has grown from 435.9 million in 2020 to 474 million in 2021.
Esports is organized competitive video gaming. In some cases, Esports competitions have money prizes, but some people get involved solely for the adrenaline rush of the competition or to be part of a community.
In October of 2020, Oregon State University’s Esports club won first place against 16 other college teams in the Conference One Fall tournament 2020, a Collegiate Valorant Competition. Valorant is a team-based, first-person hero shooter game set in the future. This game has made it to the top five of most popular games on Twitch as of today. Twitch is an interactive live streaming service for content such as video games, entertainment, sports, music and more.
Since they started winning competitions, the club decided to restructure their Discord channel to reach out to more people. The Esports club created an Instagram account, Twitter account, a YouTube account and a Twitch account to increase their social media presence. The Esports club also started streaming their games on their Twitch account.
Devin Bright, Esports club president and third-year computer science student, said the club started as a group of people that wanted to play video games, but now they have been trying to make their club more of a community, where members can reach out to the club officers for gaming resources and support. He said the aim is to make the club more of an organization.
In an email, Andrew Glass, vice-president of the Esports club and second-year master’s student in epidemiology, said his favorite thing about the club is that it opens opportunities for students who may not otherwise engage in something competitive like traditional sports.
“Not only is there scholarship money and prizes to win for those who do well, but students also build many important life skills while practicing and playing together,” Glass said in an email.
Megan Herrington, Esports diversity coordinator and second-year electrical engineering student, said she feels there is the perception that Esports is very male dominated and she really wants to show that, while there are a lot of men in Esports, it does not have to be male dominated.
“We are trying to create a safe place in the club for everyone, including [LGBTQ+] members and non-binary people,” Herrington said. “Gaming is for everyone, competing is for everyone, you do not have to fit the [mold] to be a gamer.”
This coming year the club has many competitions planned, all of which can be viewed at their Discord server.
“I’m looking forward to the spring competitions for Rocket League. Our team has grown so much in the last year, and I’m excited to see how we fare against the top competition,” Glass said via email.If you want to get involved with the Esport club at OSU, you can join their social media at Discord, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch.