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Langara eSports Association’s icebreaker allows students to talk openly about video games

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Reported by Alyse Kotyk

Members of the Langara eSports Association want to be taken more seriously as a competitive club.

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Members of the Langara eSports Association participate in friendly rounds of Super Smash Bros. at bi-annual icebreaker event. Photo by Alyse Kotyk

More than 40 members of the eSports Association had the chance to connect and be introduced to one of Langara’s largest clubs, all while playing friendly rounds of competitive, multiplayer video games at the club’s bi-annual icebreaker last Friday.

Surrounding five screens flashing with a myriad of bright colours and quick actions, players were huddled around games of Super Smash Bros.

Paul Thornton, member of the executive committee for this segment of the group, explained the reason behind the term eSports.

“It’s seeking to define competitive gaming in contrast to casual gaming,” he said. “It’s something that requires the same amount of diligence, practice, rehearsal, experience and it’s as competitive as you would see in a college league basketball game.”

Looking to be recognized by the college as a competitive sports team

For those who do play competitively, executive committee member Mathew Nguyen said the club offers members a safe, welcoming space.

“It makes people a bit more open about video games,” he said. “Some people aren’t really that open about talking about it because it’s a little bit nerdy, but knowing that they have a safe community here to talk to where everyone plays video games, I think that helps a lot.”

While most people were playing Super Smash Bros. on Friday, it isn’t the only option for club members. Teams also compete against other schools in rounds of League of Legends, Overwatch and Dota 2.

Isabelle D. Tupas, the group’s League of Legends game director and community manager, said she wishes the club were taken more seriously as a competitive team within the school.

“I think if we could get our teams recognized in an eSports aspect beside other athletics like alongside UBC, SFU and BCIT, I think that would bring a lot more recognition to the school and to the eSports community,” she said. “Which I think is important because eSports, in general, connects student bodies.”

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