Cables scattered across the floor, fingers frantically tapping on keyboards and the occasional scream of defeat or victory comprised the 12-hour NAU eSports club gaming event. Cups of coffee and bottles of water stood next to a majority of gamers’ computers, as they stared at their screens with their headsets on, listening to every sound their game produced.
The 12-hour gaming event, which took place Nov. 9, was the second one hosted by the club in the fall 2019 semester. Including the club officers, there were over 30 students, men and women, in attendance for the majority of the day. Lugging their expensive computers, keyboards and headsets to the Engineering building on south campus was not easy, but it was well worth it for many of the student gamers.
The event was sponsored by Tespa, an eSports company comprised of students and competitors to help bring together collegiate esports athletes. There were four competitions at the event that attendees could enter to win prizes, provided by Tespa.
The eSports club was founded in 2017, as an unofficial club by the current president and senior Gabriel Santos. In 2018, it became an official NAU club after being connected with True Blue Connects and the Office of the Dean of Students.
Santos said while some may not consider eSports to be a conventional sport like baseball or football, the sport has gained popularity over the last few years, including at NAU. The NAU eSports club and its members casually and competitively play games, such as Overwatch and League of Legends, with the goal of being part of the expanding sport.
“We want to turn it more like football where we have scouts come to our games, they look at our players and we can start feeding into [a] proper system like traditional sports have built,” Santos said. “So, that was kind of the end goal but it’s just really building up a strong community of building all these teams.”