E-Sports Club to be Introduced in Spring 2020

Lianna Brown ’22, News Editor

Plans for a new E-Sports club are in the works as students express strong interest. Information sessions for an e-sports club each drew a crowd of about 20 students on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2.

Nick Leidy ’22 is in the process of creating an e-sports club in hopes for it to become a varsity sport in the Spring 2020 semester. According to Leidy, this new club would stray away from the card games and board games that are played at gaming club. He said that these games, “don’t have the competitive vibe that people are looking for.” Leidy’s interest in an e-sports team also follows sentiments from other students who considered transferring to schools that offer this activity. 

Leidy explained that the club would help with male retention rates at clubs. “I think by providing a space where they [male students] can make friends and have something to do on the weekends,” Leidy said, “we can increase the overall retention rate of male students.”

The two information sessions were not advertised publicly, but details about the sessions spread to interested students. Leidy explained that “in the spring we would do a [Super] Smash [Bros] tournament or [Super Smash Bros.] Ultimate tournament,” he continued, “from there, we wanted to see if we could have a full-time varsity team, because it’s a big thing.”

Leidy explained that other schools similar to Dickinson are in the process of creating an e-sports team and other, larger universities are providing scholarships to have students play e-sports for their schools. Associate Director of Fraternity Life and Experiential Leadership Education Sean Ryan explained the benefits of having an e-sports club team at the college. “E-sports is starting to make its way on college campuses nationwide as a way to recruit and retain students,” Ryan said, “but more importantly it is being used in high schools throughout the nation to teach STEM.” He continued “according to the National E-sports Association there are 40 jobs behind every professional gamer, and the national competitions such as League of Legends is the second most watched sporting event in 2018 behind the Superbowl.”

For the future of the club and possibility of a varsity team, Leidy and Ryan have a list of mainstream e-sports games they could play but are “really willing to expand on that, especially if we have a lot of interest,” Leidy said. Ryan explained that, “in terms of next steps, there will a sport club made for those folks who want to be competitive, we will hold a few recreational times this semester, and finally next semester there will be a Dickinson College specific tournament.”

Theo Vargas ’22 shared his excitement for the club because “it was something I was exposed to in high school with the HSEL [high school e-sports league]. I also look forward to clapping everyone in smash.”

Sean Sanko ’22 said, “I think it would be a lot of fun to compete in a game I consider myself pretty good at as well as meet others on campus who wish to improve their skills and grow a community of gamers here at Dickinson.”