DU eSports embraces competitive spirit while maintaining love of the game

esportsPosterIn Aspen Hall Room 025 the DU eSports Club meets every Saturday from noon to five. Saturday April 4 was a special occasion for the club, as it marked the final day of qualifiers for the Heroes of the Dorm competition. Two teams of five students square off in a best of three match of Blizzard Entertainment’s online brawler Heroes of the Storm. The Pioneers had two matches on the day. Their first bout ended in bitter defeat, but they rallied in the second match in convincing fashion. Unfortunately for the club, they were not able to advance, but the joy was in the journey.

Death by a thousand latency

The afternoon started dire for the team. They had been outmatched, and defeat was made absolute in both games of the first duel by crippling latency spikes on DU’s end. It would have been easy for blame to have been levied at DU net’s less than stellar performance, but ultimately the members of eSports club realized that even without seeing technology fail them in a most frustrating manner, their defeat was already clearly at hand.

To their credit, Julia Jones, Niteesh Prasad, Nathan Saslavsky, Garrett Baski, and Brennan Arndt rolled with the punches. The team took the loss in stride and marched on to the next match. With an hour between the two matches, the team recuperated and prepared to reenter the Nexus by going over the replay of their loss.

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Team reviews match replay in preparation of final match

Taking the hard lessons learned, the team swiftly doled out two crushing defeats to their next opponent. Excitement bubbled in the air, as the team realized that if they could get a little help that a tiebreaker would likely see them into the round of 64. Unfortunately, the earlier defeats proved to be too costly, and the short lived journey into competitive eSports came to an end for the Pioneers.

Storming the dorm

Heroes of the Storm is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game. Two teams of five players select characters pulled from across developer Blizzard Entertainment’s various games. The general layout of a MOBA is a tug of war between the two teams with the ultimate goal being the destruction of the other teams base.

Baski described the game as fast and fun. And for Arndt one of the draws of Heroes of the Storm is the lack of toxicity in the community. Jones enjoys the cooperation necessary to excel as a team.

She explained, “No person can carry, your team has to work together in order to win. Otherwise it is really hard to play well. A single person’s contribution cannot elevate a bad team.”

In the Heroes of the Dorm tournament, Blizzard is offering a grand prize of tuition to the five members of the winning team. With qualifiers complete, the teams have been seeded into a 64 team, single elimination bracket. The “Heroic Four” is scheduled to take place live April 26 and to be televised on ESPN.

Competition, friends, and fun

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*Left to Right* Saslavsky, Jones, Prasad, and Arndt with Baski playing remotely

Winning, although ostensibly a goal for eSports club, was not the primary objective.

Jones, president of the club, explained, “What I really like about the club is that people know about this stuff and I can talk to them about this stuff. You can actually interact with people and play video games with each other which is great. It’s probably the biggest thing that drew me into this club.”

A sentiment shared by every member of the team in some form.

Baski on eSports Club: “You get to meet people, play games with a lot of different people, play a lot of different games. It’s a really fun opportunity to meet new people and play with friends. Video gaming kind of has this stigma where you sit in your room all day, play video games. And this is an opportunity to actually play with other people.”

Arndt echoed that he enjoys the club as a place where he can be with other people.

For Saslavsky, “It’s just a cool place for people with similar interests to me to have a good time. Nice to see some other people who like similar things to me.”

And the competition itself is another important aspect of, not only this tournament, but also the dynamic of competition inherent in many video games that the club plays.

“I do enjoy competing at a higher level,” said Jones, “I like that we have a team, we can communicate, and then we can play at the best of our abilities against teams who are equally as communicative.”

Prasad explained his experience with his first tournament, “I have never had a so-called team on my back. I have always been solo playing. All my other games, it was always me trying to carry the whole game. It’s nice to have people you can depend upon, so I’m really enjoying this.”

“We know each other and we can play better because there is more communication,” said Jones, “You can do a lot more things because you have a team you can talk to.”

2 Responses to DU eSports embraces competitive spirit while maintaining love of the game

  • Morgan Murphy
    Morgan Murphy says:

    This article is actually really interesting! I’ve had some experience with multiplayer games so I followed along fairly well. My only critics for this article is I would put the explanation section (Storming the dorm) before the play by play section of that day (Death by a thousand latency). Adding a little more explanation might be needed for someone who has no experience with multiplayer games. but other than those two things it’s really good! good job!

  • Kaylee Lino
    Kaylee Lino says:

    I’m glad you did this story, I wasn’t aware that we had this type of club here at DU. I’m sure there is a large population at Du that would enjoy taking part in this.

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