E-sports club turns video games into more than a pastime

By Steven Richtmyer

The average American would typically associate the rhythmic clicking and clacking of buttons or joysticks with laziness, a lack of motivation and joblessness. 

Contrary to this false generalization, the Rider E-sports club was established on the grounds of pure passion and appreciation for competitive gaming.

The Rider E-sports club began last semester with the assistance of Brian Levine, a sophomore management and leadership major, and the vice president, Jacob Guevarra, a sophomore computer science major, seeking to create teams and tournaments to compete in various video games such as League of Legends and Overwatch.

Since the start of the club, they have had over 40 members in the club, and they each have a unique preference of games, ranging from shooter games, such as Call of Duty, to sports games like Madden.

The club leaders acknowledge that Rider contains audiences for not only competitive players, but also for those who simply want to relax and enjoy gaming in a social setting. 

“We like to include a variety of games at our club,” Guevarra said. “Because we are a new club, we need to show interest in the club to receive more financial support from the club sports council. Video games and systems are really expensive, so this has been a real struggle.”  

The E-sports club is a unique case when it comes to its funding because most clubs receive their funding after they have established a strong student interest.

“The main issue that we are experiencing is that, in order to expand our options for our members and therefore interest more people to join, we need more financial support. However, the council won’t give us more money until we’ve shown that there’s enough interest in the club,” Guevarra said with much frustration.

Video games are spread amongst various platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, PC and Nintendo Switch and some games are available only on specific platforms, Guevarra explained.

An example of this is the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate which is the newest installment of the fan-favorite fighting game releasing on Dec. 7. 

Despite the interest that this new game may inspire in Rider students, it is an exclusive title for the Nintendo Switch which adds extra strain to the financial requirement of this club.

If a certain game does end up receiving a large interest by the club’s members, Guevarra says that they will find a way to accommodate to players.

According to sophomore marine science major Kendall Screen, the social media and public relations manager of the E-sports club and captain of the Overwatch team, the club members have been able to reduce the immense cost of the club by using the computers in Rider’s labs to play their games.

“These computers work well enough,” Screen said. “We are able to maintain a stable 40-60 frames-per-second.”

Screen also emphasizes the fact that this club is in its beginning stages and that he hopes there will be enough development and growth to be able to compete with surrounding schools by either hosting or joining public tournaments.

In its current state, regardless of the humble struggles it has faced, the club has become a way for passionate gamers to unite by enjoying their favorite pass time together in a competitive yet enjoyable environment. 

“You don’t have to be scared to be a gamer,” Screen said with uplifting excitement. “You just have to learn to balance your life with your gaming.” 




Published in the 12/5/18 edition.

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