Langara Esports Association levels up
Langara begins to take its place in rapidly growing esports industry
By Kalvin Moses
After a change in leadership and rebound in membership, the Langara Esports Association is looking beyond campus to the wider world.
Since the summer, the association has gained 500 new members with an estimated 100 monthly active members. The club meets in room T001 at Langara College, every Friday for students to play at a competitive level or unwind among like-minded people.
“I think it’s a nice meeting ground to meet other people who might have similar interests,” said science student Melvin Liu. “Nowadays, around this age demographic, I feel like most people definitely are into video games, to some capacity,” he said.
Derian Chow, vice president of the club, said there is still stigma around esports being an activity enjoyed by unhygienic nerds in their basements.
“But realistically, I think through esports, I’ve met a lot of good people, I don’t think I’ve really met too many people that actually fit that stereotype at all,” said Chow.
Looking to the future
This year the association is collaborating with The Home Key to host a screening of the League of Legends World Championship, a major esports event. The Home Key is a startup in downtown Vancouver providing a space for esports professionals to train, network, and host events.
Chow said the partnership with The Home Key is good for the club as it provides necessary infrastructure and support for it to grow.
“There needs to be more government support towards gaming,” said Jonathan Kim, chief executive officer of The Home Key.
He said there will be more global gaming events, but governments need to give out grants to people who want to organize those events.
The future of esports seems promising, says Marius Adomnica, partner of Segev LLP, a Vancouver law firm that provides legal services to esports players.
“In a couple of years, esports is going to take over and be on par with traditional sports,” said Adomnica.
Esports isn’t getting enough attention
Chow is hoping for more support from schools for esports. “What I hope for Langara to look at is with how Langara esports has grown over the years, and how we can easily become one of, if not the biggest clubs at Langara, if not already. A lot of other schools in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and the U.S., they’ve adopted esport as an activity.”
According to the Vancouver Economic Forum the esport industry globally generates US$1.1 billion in revenue which is expected to double within the next four years.
Liu said the Langara Esports Association will prosper as long as esports continue to flourish. “For as long as there’s like genuine interest, I think it definitely has a future.” said Liu.
The Home Key CEO Jonathan Kim introduces his esports base of operation at the heart of downtown Vancouver.