Stevenson University’s newly formed eSports group turned into a club sport embodying all the trademarks of a team, honing their craft daily to compete against teams all over the world.
The team’s game of choice is “League of Legends,” according to coach Jonathon Neely, and that game is currently the most popular in eSports.
Neely said the team relies on “team composition and cohesion” along with player communication as a recipe for victory. The players practice three days a week, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in Garrison Hall on the Owings Mills campus from 7 -10 p.m. However, many players begin at 5 p.m. in order to warm up for later matches. Everyone is expected to play a total of two and a half hours every day outside of practice, according to Kyle Johnson, one of the members of the Stevenson team.
While League of Legends is a current favorite, a team for the game “Overwatch” is currently being formed. The club sport may be adding other popular multi-player games such as “Defense of the Ancients” (DotA) and “Counter-Strike: Global Offense” (CS:GO) in the future. The team hopes to win a championship title soon and possibly join a professional tournament in the future.
An eSports tournament is a lot like the matches players experience during their scheduled practice times. With League of Legends, for example, the main objective of the game is to work as a team to destroy the nexus on the opponents’ side while also completing other objectives, according to the official LoL Youtube Channel. Players can choose from a wide variety of games depending on their preferences. In the LoL tournament, in which the Stevenson team participated, each member of the winning team had a shot at an $8,000 scholarship.
eSports is competitive gaming at its finest. What began with games such as “World of Warcraft” has grown into a global sensation with over 250 million different fan-bases. Teams of accomplished gamers will work together and battle it out for thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars’ worth of prize money each year, and all while enjoying the game with friends and foes alike.
The team currently streams all of their gaming on their Twitch channel found on gomustangsports.com.
For those interested in joining the team, signups take place at the beginning of each semester. For those who can’t wait until the spring term, Neely suggests speaking individually with members of the team and the coaching staff. Interested students must fill out paperwork, complete a physical and be ready to show off their gaming skills.