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Esports is newest club sport team at Rider

By
Robert Leitner ’17
02/09/2018

Rider University students will soon have the chance to compete in esports — the multiplayer video game competitions that are generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and attracting hundreds of millions of spectators around the globe.

The new club team has established an executive board and is hoping to begin competition by the end of the semester.

Two members of the team's board, Brian Levine, a freshman double major in management and sports management leadership, and Jacob Guevarra, a freshman computer science major, are taking practical steps to get the team organized while eying local tournaments and larger competitions in the national spotlight.

“Traveling and competing nationally is the goal,” Levine says. “We want our teams to go out and face other teams on the big stage. That’s the stuff we live for — what we see on Twitch or TV."

Twitch, an Amazon-owned live-streaming platform, has carved out a niche as one of the biggest broadcasters of esports.

It's expected that students on Rider's team will be able to choose specific genres to compete in on PC or consoles.

“As long as the game has some sort of competitive aspect, there is enough teams to compete against and there is enough student interest in it, the club will do its best to have a team for it,” Levine says. “There are many different multiplayer online battle arena games and first-person shooter games that we can play. We also want to include some games that require individual skill in the future.”

Guevarra already has some competition in mind after discovering other local colleges with established esports teams. Drexel, Temple, TCNJ, Ramapo and Rowan have established competitive League of Legends teams that are ready to compete against Rider's team.

To date, there are more than 30 students interested in joining Rider's esports club team. Tryouts will be held later in the semester.

“We are really excited to see this club come to fruition because we see the excitement behind it,” says Dianna Clauss, assistant director of campus life for recreation programs.

According to the National Association of Collegiate eSports, 63 institutions of higher education have developed varsity esports programs. ESPN hosts an esports page on its website. As the sport develops on a global scale, Guevarra recognizes the comradery a Rider team can provide.

“Keep in mind that a lot of people have consoles in their residence halls,” he says. “As an esports club, we want to reach out to those students and build and expand the community on campus so that it’s not only for the stereotypical guys, but for women as well.”

Any student interested in trying out or supporting the team should contact Brian Levine at  [email protected] or visit https://broncnation.rider.edu/organization/e-sports.