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Interest High for Augustana E-Sports Club

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A new club is on its way to being created on campus.

Augustana E-Sports is looking to give students the opportunity to participate in competitive video game sports: professionally performed multiplayer games with competitive intentions. On top of the club, the group is also hoping to have a house with the adequate tools, hardware, and equipment to facilitate this competition. According to Alexander Cintado, a contributor to the group’s development, the club might be occupying the former Black Culture House on the corner of 10th Ave. and 34th St., after it undergoes some major renovations.

E-Sports’ popularity, collegiate and otherwise, started with its highest popularity in South Korea and other eastern countries, with games like Starcraft drawing viewers in packs. The same popularity began to rise in the United States and the rest of the West, starting with games like Counter Strike and culminating, currently, in the mega-popularity of games like League of Legends.

According to the League of Legends website, last year’s world championship drew 396 million unique daily viewers and distributed $6.7 million in total prize money to the competing teams.

Augustana, has, until now, not had a club that was specifically e-sports related. According to Cintado, Augustana had a club that casually plays the aforementioned League of Legends weekly, and has done so since early 2014.

In December of this year, some students and staff began throwing around the idea for a more competition focused club.  An email sent to 10 people lead to around 25 attendees at a meeting to develop the idea. Cintado pointed out that he was “surprised to see this enthusiastic of a reaction in the Midwest.”

Cintado wonders how, with this much enthusiasm around the campus, the club hadn’t come into existence yet, but is very glad that it’s all set to hopefully start coming to fruition now.

The idea is to start sowing the seeds for the club now, and develop it into the future, as there is a list of things the club will need. One of the most important is figuring out how the computers used by the club will consistently have a solid internet connection, an issue well known by all those who regularly use campus internet.

Most likely this development will take place over upcoming breaks, as times less busy for students are better for working on the creation of the club.A main focus Cintado mentions the club has is “so much potential for bringing a lot of people together.”

Cintado cites the high turnout at the very first speculative meeting as an example of this. He also points out the E-Sports can be used to draw attention and recruitment for the school as well, as it already has been shown to function at institutions like Robert Morris University.

Cintado hopes that recruitment and set up can possibly be started as early as some time in next year’s fall or winter term. He believes this club would be a great way for students to have a blast doing something they’re passionate about, as well as becoming invested in their school on a competitive level. If students get involved, and focus together, Cintado believes this club could be another drawing facet of Augustana for prospective students.

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