ESPORTS CONTINUES TO EXPAND THROUGH THE NIAGARA REGION
Niagara-on-the-Lake hosted the first We Got Game! intramural eSports tournament of the semester Feb. 7.
This event is only the beginning for a new age of gaming-related sports tournaments that We Got Game! plans on building toward.
This is not the first time NOTL has held a We Got Game! tournament for the students, but due to how well their previous event went, the organization levied off of their success to push eSports tournaments to other schools.
“We feel that eSports is going to be popular and something relatively affordable so we’d like to make sure we can continue this,” said Dave Miller, the organizer of the event.
eSports as an actual sport that features intramurals, extramurals, and tournaments has become more popular. More and more kids are spending time playing video games.
“Right now there’s a lot of people putting a lot of money into eSports, and a lot of sports teams are getting into it,” said Miller.
We Got Game! held intramurals for three console games: NBA 2k19 for the Xbox One and PS4, FIFA 19 for the Xbox One and PS4 and Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch. The top players who qualified in the intramurals at Thursday’s event get to go on to the next round of the tournament where they will compete against other top players from the other 10 schools participating on March 9.
“We called it an intramural event because we wanted to get into that intramural, extramural language the same way athletic sports do,” said Miller.
eSports is becoming more popular and recognized by schools. Schools are starting to give out bursaries and sponsorships in eSports. The tournament is offering over $5,000 in prizes. FIFA 19 is the tournaments flagship event. First prize is going to be a $2,000 visa gift card, second place a $500 visa gift card and third place a $150 EB games gift card.
NBA 2k19’s first place is a $1,000 visa gift card, second place is two pairs of tickets to the Raptors game taking place over two days: Friday night you will get to see Oklahoma City Thunder and Sunday night the Charlotte Hornets, plus $100 spending money. NBA’s third place will get a new Under Armour outfit including shoes, trackpants, sweater and hat.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate’s first place is a $750 visa gift card, second place is four weekend passes to Comic Con Toronto from March 15-17 and third place a $150 gift card to EB games.
Two students from Niagara College’s NOTL campus, Robert Chita and Matthew Amaral, who participated in the intramurals had nothing but good things to say about the event.
“It’s a growing sport, so it’s good that schools are picking up on it. I know there’s millions of dollars in eSports,” said Chita.
Chita explained that eSports is growing as an actual sport and said that there is a lot of money to be made in it.
“I think just with technology increa sing, more millennials and younger people are using more technology from the start so I feel like video games now as opposed to being a luxury in the past have become more of a norm,” he said.
Amaral explained that eSports is emerging outside of school as well.
“It’s a big thing everywhere so it’s great that they’re bringing it here,” he said. “Video games have always been big; everyone loves video games, and someone decided to make money off of it and it worked.”
The event saw a lot of support and participation from the students.
“Tonight was very successful, we really enjoyed it and we got some feedback from some of the students here and a lot of them said “it’s about time,” which is really positive to hear. I think we can be the flagship to continue this if schools support it,” said Miller.