eSports Team Brings Home First Tournament Win

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eSports Team Brings Home First Tournament Win

Julia Fawbush, Reporter

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The university’s Hearthstone team brought home its first eSports tournament win by defeating Carnegie Mellon at Hearthstone, an online fantasy card game, on the streaming platform Twitch.tv. This is the first round the team won in the eSports Association (TeSPA) Fall 2019 Hearthstone Collegiate Championship.

Sam Schmidt, head Hearthstone coach, appreciates how dedicated and hard working his team is and how the eSports team has a bond like a traditional athletic sports team.

“We’re talking about teams here,” said Schmidt. “We’re talking about leagues; we’re talking about tournaments. Not, you know, going on and just playing Fortnite, but actually that whole team structure very similar to traditional sports.”

Director of eSports Greg Lewis said this industry is growing, despite stigmas surrounding it.

“It really is a booming industry,” he said. “They’re building stadiums just for eSports; they’re building on-location sites over a weekend just to host a 64-team invitational, so it really is a futuristic sport.”

Lewis explained that expectations for the eSports team have been exceeded since going through the planning stages, especially after winning its first tournament on its first game.

William Fauntleroy, freshman chemistry major and Hearthstone team member, was not expecting many people to attend meetings because of the negative stigmas of eSports.

“When I first went to the meeting thinking it was going to be a few kids and seeing an entire room full of kids playing video games, it’s cool,” he said.

Jesse Gerfin, another Hearthstone team member, got involved in eSports thinking it would be a hobby to do once or twice a week, but now he goes to the eSports room during his free time to practice.

“I see myself in here almost every day and it’s really formal; it’s structured well,” he said.

Fauntleroy encourages students, especially freshmen, to sign up because it is a great alternative for students not interested in joining traditional sports like basketball and football.

“It’s a great opportunity for kids like me who tried basketball, who tried soccer, or baseball and I just like playing video games. It’s a great way to get these kids who don’t want to go out and join a college level sports team to just come try playing video games, try what they’re good at and include them,” he said.

Lewis thinks students should join to help get rid of the negative stigmas about eSports by experiencing it for themselves.

“Just learn that we aren’t just a club,” he said. “We are a traditional sport now and we go through the same stuff that any other sport on campus would go through.”

Schmidt explained a unique side of eSports is that any student in any major can join the team, something other traditional sports teams cannot duplicate.

“We are a completely co-ed team, so that’s a pretty unique aspect that other sports can’t really champion,” he said.

Details on the Hearthstone team’s win, game strategies and information on future tournaments may be found on the Misericordia Athletics eSports page.

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