While the days of Sega and Atari are behind us, and GameCube consoles are collecting dust in the corner of basements, gaming continues to be popular in our culture. The spirit of competition lives on through online multiplayer gaming and the Plattsburgh E-Sports Club.
The E-Sports Club is fairly new to campus as it took on a new name in the fall of this year. Shane Rapping, junior audio and radio production major with a minor in history, rebranded the club when he became president of the League of Legends Club. Rapping was a member since his freshman year and decided to expand to more games besides “League of Legends,” like “Super Smash Bros.” and “Counter-Strike,” so he renamed the club.
“I decided to change the name to try to branch out and bring in more members, just building a bigger community,” Rapping said.
Rapping’s change resulted in a total of 30 new members who take place in tournaments and meetings. The tournaments are a club favorite and are not just between members.
Recently, the club sent their “League of Legends” team to Burlington to compete with other gamers there. “League of Legends” is a free-to-play, massive multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, developed and published by Riot Games.
“Five of us and a couple of coaches went out to Burlington for the day to compete against some other schools like University of Vermont and University of Champlain,” Adam Farber, sociology and anthropology major, said.
Their most recent tournament took place last Friday. The club got together to play “Super Smash Bros.” and competed against other gamers online.
“We’re definitely focused on the more competitive aspect of video games,” accounting and management major Max Tompkins said.
Tompkins is the treasurer for the E-Sports Club and takes care of its $1,350 budget they received for the year from the Student Association.
“We use it on entrance fees, usually [for the] tournaments that we drive to,” Tompkins said.
The other money in the budget goes toward prizes and food for its events. A popular event they host is its viewing parties.
“For whenever pro-finals are on, we’ll get together and watch those either online or sometimes in person,” Rapping said.
Pro-finals feature the professionals in the gaming world. Just like any sports team, there are pros, semi-pros and amateurs.
An article from Business Insider said 15 of the highest pro-gamers have earned anywhere from $317,610 to $519,086 from tournaments they participated in. Besides the prize money they earn from winning, some of them even have sponsorships, which only adds to their riches.
The E-Sports Club focuses mainly on “Counter-Strike,” “League of Legends” and is trying to start up a team for the game “Rocket League.”