Esports Gaming Company in Mississauga, ON
Read what clients have said about We Got Game!
We bring you the detailps of an Esports event hosted by the London Knights and We Got Game! at Budweiser Gardens in November.Jeff Shaughnessy
The rise of eSports in the age of COVID-19
Mustangs men's soccer defender Adesina Gbadebo captured an eSports tournament victory at a "Campus versus Campus" EA Sports FIFA 20 event, taking home the prize even as the coronavirus pandemic has put most sports on hold.
His team was awarded a $250 prize for his victory on May 8.
The tournament was hosted by We Got Game, an eSports company that has been running similar events for almost 13 years. According to the owner and president of the company, Dave Miller, 36 students across Ontario registered for the tournament.
Miller explained that colleges and universities throughout the province have participated in their events for years, which predominately feature console gaming such as PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Gbadebo said he enjoyed the tournament, playing with and against one of his Western University teammates, midfielder Robert D’Amario. The pair were put into a team of four during the initial group stage, then separated into individual pools so that none of them could face each other until the finals. Both Gbadebo and D’Amario won their way through their respective pools, which clinched their berth in the finals against each other.
Ultimately, Gbadebo defeated D’Amario, winning the tournament.
The Mustangs student-athlete and the event’s champion mentioned how eSports tournaments like this are a great way to connect with his teammates amid the ongoing global pandemic.
“I haven't really spoken to [the soccer team] or talked to them as much as we regularly would,” said Gbadebo. “But with [D’Amario], we were connected the whole week and it was a great bonding experience. If we got more players involved, it would definitely be something that could bring us together.”
Miller has been reaching out to student councils to pique interest for his company’s events. He wants to make sure that teams and players are sponsored by their respective schools so that teammates and classmates can play together during challenging times.
“Through the whole COVID-19 [pandemic], we connected with many of the schools, including Western, to just to kind of say, ‘hey, let's continue to keep the students entertained and host various gaming events for them,’” said Miller.
He isn’t sure if the quarantine will be positive or negative for his company, but he does believe that eSports may become a more popular outlet for students — especially if other sports and physical activities aren’t re-opened soon.
“Gaming might be a new way to relieve some of that stress or still be of value … if I'm not playing soccer, but I'm good at FIFA, maybe I can make some extra money on the side and still feel relevant, this may change my buying decisions in the future,” said Miller. “People are not going to rush back into filling the stadiums again.”
We Got Game’s president also said he once thought eSports and live sports were separate, but now with an increased interest in eSports, he believes it should be considered as a regular sport. He adds that he wouldn't be surprised if eSports makes its way to the Olympic Games.
Gbadebo agrees with Miller, saying eSports are going to increase in value over the next few years. He said that, with the pandemic, he and his soccer teammates are looking at video games to keep busy.
“[eSports] are already pretty big and you could play professionally now,” said Gbadebo. “I see them getting even bigger with people being at home more and online activities becoming much more common. I think it could be something that we see explode within the next year."
Gbadebo reported that there are still no updates from the men’s soccer team and they're still awaiting further information from U Sports and Ontario University Athletics as to when competition will re-open. Before the pandemic began, training camp practices were scheduled for this coming August to prepare for the 2020 season.
“I know for the soccer players, everyone's missing soccer and I think that's the same for every other sport," said Gbadebo.We Got Game will be hosting another eSports event featuring an NBA 2K20 tournament on the week of May 28.Alex McComb
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.TONI WHITE
NEW ESPORTS TOURNAMENT EXCITES GAMERS
The score is 60-60 and the clock is running down. An NBA 2K19 game between computer programming student Moussab Abdillahi and exchange student Anders Jaurnow from Denmark is raging tensely on a PS4 console.
A group of about 15 students gather around the monitors. Eyes are drawn to the screen to see which side will prevail. The two competitors have brought the game into the second overtime period. A single shot can decide the final result.
When one is missed, the “aws” and “oos” are repeated around the gathering. Jaurnow grabs his head in frustration; Abdillahi also missed some shots. Both sides are attacking firecely on their opponents’ line of defense.
Then, nearly as quickly as a shot happens, the match ends. Surrounded by the cheering audience, Abdillahi is declared the winner of this nail-biting game.
It was the semi-final scene of the We Got Game! Campus Esports Tournament which took place in the student commons, right outside the theatre, on Feb. 26. It was attended by about 100 gamers.
As one of the many participants who attended the tournament, Abdillahi was glad for the fact that he won the semi-final.
“I feel pretty nice,” said Abdillahi, “because It’s a pretty competitive game. I didn’t know I was going to get there, to be honest. I thought after two games I would lose, but luck was on my side.”
Dave Miller, owner of the Mississauga-based interactive gaming company We Got Game! and sponsor of the tournament, spoke highly of the performance of Abdillahi and Jaurnow.
“What happened was very emotional,” said Miller. “Each shot happened within the last 30 seconds.
“I think that was like one of the highlights of the event today, just because of that atmosphere of going to the next level.”
NBA 2K19 was not the sole character in the show. FIFA 19 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate were also part of the tournament and they had attracted a number of participants.
There was more than one winner in the tournament, for this was a qualifying game. For NBA 2K19 and FIFA 19, two winners came out from the finals whereas for Smash Bros., there were four winners.
Winners were qualifiers for the following Extramural Tournament which will take place at Humber College Toronto on March. 9. On behalf of Algonquin College, they will compete with players from other institutions. The winners for each game will then be awarded prizes. Among all three games, FIFA 19 has the highest prize of $2,000.
“I’m really excited,” said firefighting student Liam Runciman, winner for FIFA 19, “especially for where the (next) tournament is. I have a really close friend who lives by there, so I’m definitely getting encouragement from him.
“I’m looking forward to it no matter what, even if I don’t win the prize, but you know, of course, $2,000 wouldn’t be too bad, right?”
Runciman was a special winner. He lost in the final, but when Miller told him that he could have the second chance to become the winner since there was an extra seat for the new qualifier, he seized the opportunity. He eventually survived in the redemption match after powering through the back-and-forth situation in the game, scoring one goal over his competitor.
“To come back from the dead,” said Runciman, “it was awesome.”
There was something else besides prizes the contestants were looking for.
Attending the tournament for the first time, business administration student Kirtus Selleck had brought back his childhood memory from Smash Bros.
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been using Mario in the game,” said Kirtus. “I literally used him for nostalgic and sentimental value.”
The atmosphere of the tournament was also appealing to participants.
“The whole tournament was fantastic,” said computer system technician student Abdi Hussein, winner for Smash Bros. “It’s a great way to connect with the college and other people, so I think it’s a phenomenal idea.”
According to Miller, this was the first time for We Got Game! to run their competition in school-versus-school format.
“We’ve done it individually with schools,” said Miller, “but now we put 11 schools together.
“Qualifiers represent their schools as if they’re in basketball teams or volleyball teams. This is esports and everybody has a chance, based on your skills and such.”
Allison Barnes, events programmer of the Students’ Association, told the Times that the event is an opportunity for the college’s esports club.
“There are lots of people here who like esports,” said Barnes. “It helps our club initiative because students here can learn about our esports club.”Joseph Wang
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