Rising through the ranks of the League of Legends (LoL) Collegiate Star League is SRU’s own Esports Club LoL team, led by secretary of the Esports Club, freshman Wayne Bloom.
The Esports Club is in its first year here on campus, stemming from its predecessor University League of Legends, an organization that used to focus solely on League of Legends. Esports Club President, junior Khalil Harper said the club’s main goal now is to give people the opportunity to express themselves through games and to ultimately have fun, but, of course, the club does have a competitive LoL team.
Bloom, the Team Captain, said that, like other sports, Esports have regular seasons during which each team competes against the other teams in their conference. The Collegiate Star League has 21 conferences with eight teams in each, and Bloom and his team won four out of seven matches, qualifying them for playoffs.
Unfortunately, most likely due to the youth of the club itself, the team had some trouble developing a permanent roster during the first four games. Bloom said this created a hindrance due to the importance of communication and “knowing your team’s play-style” in games like League of Legends.
“After these four games, we finally had a full permanent roster playing for the rest of the season,” Bloom said. “Once we had that, we were unstoppable.”
The first game of the LoL playoffs took place last Saturday, when Bloom and his team competed against a team representing Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. Liberty is a large school, has the seventh-highest enrollment in the country and is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research school. Due to this, Bloom said the team from SRU came in prepared to fight for a spot in the playoffs.
“I don’t mean to be cocky, just accurate, when I say that it was too easy,” Bloom said. “We swept the other team 2-0. That victory sets my hopes high for the rest of the playoff season, and I foresee us making it a fair distance in.”
The CSL playoffs will continue for three more weeks with games held every Saturday, and the eight teams remaining will progress to finals. The team plans on continuing to keep up their skills during the off-season, and Bloom and some other members hope to develop their skills far enough to create a JV1 team and eventually a varsity team; they currently compete in the JV2 league.
“That will be an exciting new experience if we can manage it,” Bloom said. “The difference [between JV2 and JV1] is just one of skill. JV1 is the upper division of players in the game, and to go with that, the prizes for the JV1 league are much more impressive.”
Aside from the tournaments and competitions, SRU’s Esports Club offers the chance to play many other multiplayer games such as Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart and Blizzard’s Overwatch. According to president Harper, the club is looking forward using their newly-approved budget to extend open invitations to the rest of campus to host campus-wide events involving more casual gaming and big tournaments like their Super Smash Bros tournament earlier this year.
Additionally, Harper plans to work with other clubs and organizations such as the Gamers’ Guild, the Urban Gaming Club and Geek Life, and looks forward to expanding the diversity of the club.
“We have so much inn store for the future,” Harper said.
Keep up with the Esports Club by following them @SRU_Esports on Instagram and @SRUEsports on Twitter, and for more information, contact club president Khalil Harper.