SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)– A high-tech sport is rapidly growing on the Augustana University campus.
Augustana University introduced esports to campus this school year. It has already grown to 92 students and one competitive team.
These students may look like they are just playing video games, but they are actually preparing for their very first national collegiate esports competition representing Augustana University.
“We play games, matches against one another as a team against other people, and Jake our coach has been helping us a lot watching our games, giving us advice and good feedback,” said team member Dillon Cassady.
“It’s been really fun. Already we just formed this team back in November and to already be competing in this tournament, it’s really exciting,” said Jake Mahowald, esports program coordinator.
Esports has provided an avenue for students looking to get involved on campus.
“It just like caters to a new audience, it kind of brings people from all different places, like I know at least just like our starters we have like people who do music, people who do sports, and it kind of just brings together different communities,” said Claire Sorenson, team member.
“Just having fun with friends, like I gain in my free time, so the ability to have like a professionally done with people I enjoy is a great experience,” said Carter Schmitz, team member.
No matter their major, esports brings out skills in these students that they will use beyond college.
“With League of legends in particular, this is a game that a lot of programmers have played, it’s a way to connect in that community, and it also highlights a lot of program concepts that are important to know about and things to do, things to avoid, that I have talked about in my previous classes in Computer Science,” said Cassady.
“League has a lot of strategy and that kind of thing and focusing on the big picture and having a lot of knowing when’s the right time to act and that type of thing, which can kind of apply to real life lessons as well, like what should we do to meet our final goal,” said Sorenson.
While esports has already grown a lot in just this school year, Augustana hopes to continue to build the program and in the future add more competitive teams in different games to the club.