ESU Esports is now officially a Recognized Student Organization at Emporia State. The Associated Student Government recognized the club with a 19-0 vote during their meeting on Sept. 30.

Esports stands for electronic sports or, as it is more commonly known, competitive video games.

These games, and their tournaments, have been growing in popularity over the past few years. The 2019 League of Legends Championship had more than 100 million viewers, according to businessinsider.com.

Now, Emporia State has the chance to join in on the competitions.

Most of the games that ESU Esports plays are PC games, which can be played on almost any laptop, according to Nathan Goodwin, founder and president of the club and senior Information Systems and Theatre major.

“Anyone with a ten-year-old laptop and are willing to play games can come and join us and play,” Goodwin said at the meeting.

ESU Esports aims to create an environment where people can play their favorite video games with like-minded students and compete in tournaments online or in-person, according to Goodwin.

There are currently 53 members competing in three or four different games, according to Goodwin. However, their primary game is League of Legends.

The members are currently competing against 70 other teams across the United States with a prize pool of over $1,500 and a chance to compete in a national competition, according to Goodwin.

The club also hosts their own tournaments and their first one was held on Sept. 29. After the tournament, they gained 15 to 20 enthusiastic new members on their Discord, according to Goodwin.

“It was definitely a morale booster seeing how many people were interested across campus,” Goodwin said. Discord is a group chat app which was originally made for gamers, according to businessinsider.com.

ESU Esports would like to host more online tournaments so students on campus can meet people from across the country, according to Goodwin. The club is also considering hosting a less formal tournament where people can just come to have fun and eat snacks, according to Goodwin.

Additionally, the club would like to get the Emporia community involved with their tournaments. A “significant amount” of esports games are family friendly aside from first-person shooter games, according to Goodwin.

The primary game that community tournaments would compete with would be Mario Kart, which is rated E10+ by the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

“We’re definitely reaching out to see what people are interested in, what the average Emporia State student would want to see from us,” Goodwin said.

ESU Esports has plans to expand beyond being just an RSO.

Goodwin is working with marketing faculty to help grow the club into a varsity program with the opportunity for scholarships.

“The popularity [of esports] is growing immensely,” Goodwin said. “There is a lot of talent as people are rising through high school at the moment, growing up with these games. So Emporia definitely has the opportunity to help field these people, bring them to Emporia through scholarships and potentially compete against some of the best people in the country.”

The club meets virtually at 6 p.m. on Mondays through their Discord server. All students, staff, faculty and alumni are invited to attend. Questions and suggestions can be sent to emporiaesports@gmail.com.

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