It is about 7 p.m. on a Friday night, and, amongst a whirring of computers, the members of the eSports Club of California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) are staring intently at their glaring monitors. The students are living through characters, cutting down their opponents in an attempt to claim victory.
The eSports Club, which is in its first year of existence, was created by some members of the Gaming Club who wanted a group that would focus more on the competitive aspect of the video game world.
Within the eSports Club, though, is Team Otter. The team, which consists of six members: Cristopher Wolz-Romberger, fourth year, CSIT; Gavin Leavitt, sophomore, Biology; Doug Alexander, freshman, CSIT; Casey Brodmann, sophomore, Marine Science; Christopher Palacios, fifth year, communication design; and Roy Anderson, junior, business, who is the eSports President as well as Team Otter’s Leader.
Currently, the game that Team Otter is focusing on competitively is a real-time strategy game known as League of Legends.
Team Otter, though they have barely begun playing the game competitively, established some rivals for the game: San Jose State, University of California, Santa Cruz, and University of California, Berkeley.
The game is played online and players have to choose characters that have pre-made characteristics. Each player who plays the game chooses a character based on the team’s needs as well as the player’s familiarity.
In the scoring scheme of the game, the two teams play two games, one called Dominion, which a win will tally one point, and Summoner’s Rift, which a win will result in three points. In order to claim victory, a team must win a majority of the four points.
“Summoner’s Rift is a carefully crafted strategy; a team skirmish,” Anderson said. “Dominion involves capturing five points.”
So far, though, Team Otter has faced-off against University of British Columbia. Although Team Otter lost Dominion, the team pulled off a win in Summoner’s Rift — resulting in a win for the CSUMB team.
The team’s next game is against another Canadian university, this time being the University of Victoria.
“I feel like we’re a lot better than our first game,” Anderson said. “We just need to get our play styles down to fully play at our best.”
Anderson has some plans for the future of Team Otter.
“I would like to get the matches publicized,” Anderson said. He has, though, established a way to stream the matches.
Anderson does want to bring in different gamers as well. One of his plans is to start an intra-college league for certain games — including Call of Duty, Super Smash Brothers Brawl. Anderson just hopes there are enough interested gamers.
“What I want to do is to start a league so gamers can have bragging rights in certain games. They can say: ‘I’m the best at CSUMB at Call of Duty,’” Anderson said.
However, the overall legacy that Anderson would want is to have Team Otter be a recognized school sport. Anderson is not planning on that happening anytime soon, yet he hopes that the person who succeeds him might be able to get the team school recognition.
The main goal that Anderson wants is to be treated like a serious sport.
“It’s a serious skill, you can’t just pick it up and do it,” Anderson assured. “We’re just as competitive as any other sport. We’re not trying to undermine baseball, or soccer, we just want to stand side by side as a sport.”