STUDENTS OF SENECA COLLEGE OPENED AN E-SPORTS CLUB AT NEWNHAM CAMPUS
By: Zara Ali
Before video games used to be played with friends for fun or as a hobby, but recently in the past five years video games have taken a turn making it into e-sports to play competitively.
E-sports has gotten popular to the point where colleges and universities have made clubs and compete in tournaments across the globe. Seneca college was no exception in starting its own e-sports club as well.
Steven Nguyen, President of Seneca’s E-sport club said the reason for the club is to get students who have passion for gaming and competitiveness come together. The club gives a platform to players to play and be themselves.
Before enrolling into Seneca as a student, Steven used to play Super Smash Brothers competitively and travelled all over North America. “In the Smash community we have different communities coming together. We have Fire Emblem, Pokémon, Mario. These communities all coming together. That’s kind of how this passion for e-sports really began and how I’ve tried to translate it into Seneca e-sport.” Super Smash Brothers is a video game that was released in 1999 by Nintendo. The video game has multiple different characters like Mario, Pokémon, Sonic and more that compete in a crossover fight.
Every Monday the e-sports club has open tournaments for students who want to play for fun and for team members who wish to prepare for upcoming tournaments. The club is open to everyone with no restrictions. About 15 students come weekly according to Steven. Seneca’s e-sports club has three teams. One is for the game Rainbow Six, the other is CS:GO and lastly their new edition Smash Bros. Rainbow Six is a tactical shooter game released in 1998 by Ubisoft. It’s a fictional game about a counter terrorist squad called Rainbow. CS:GO is of similar genre. It was released in 2012 by Valve Entertainment. It’s a multiplayer first-person shooter game.
The two teams participate in collegiate tournaments, such as with York University, University of Toronto or colleges in the U.S. Currently there are 15 collegiate players that compete in tournaments. For the collegiate teams however, Steven says, “we do tryouts and we do selection and based on the selection they will play on a weekly basis.” The process of the tournaments is for the teams to play games on a weekly basis, then go to playoffs and depending on where they stand at the end of the playoffs, they will get prize money. The prize money is about a $1000.
Tyler Dee one of the team members who happens to be on all three teams says he joined the Seneca e-sports team because he played competitively for about 5 years. “It’s fun. I like to compete against other people. It drives me to be a better player.” He recently, along with the Rainbow Six team had a tournament in December and came in 4th place.
According to Steven there’s not much of a difference between playing on screen and playing on field. The only aspect that’s obvious is the physical part. Other than that, it takes the same amount of energy, mental capacity, training and teamwork. Some consider e-sports to not be an actual sport, yet some believe it is just as much of a sport as soccer and basketball is. “Athletics isn’t really interested in talking about e-sports yet until they see initiatives from the higher ups about education and then they start putting e-sports varsity up,” says Steven.
Seneca college is taking e-sports to the next step. According to Steven Nguyen they are planning on making a marketing program for post grads, presumably this September.
(Steven standing on the left with students from Seneca’s e-sports club.)