The SUNY system has debuted its Fall eSports 2021 tournament with an unprecedented amount of student engagement. Esports are competitive, organized video gaming. Just like the world of sports has renowned players like Tom Brady and Cristiano Ronaldo, the world of esports has professional players that dominate in popular computer-based video games like Fortnite and League of Legends. Some esport events have garnered virtual crowds of over a million people, and the genre of electronic sports is expanding rapidly amongst increased fanfare and popularity.
SUNY student participation has tripled since last year; with 2,077 students enrolled in a SUNY esports program this semester, compared to 636 enrolled students at the same time last year.
The SUNY website advertises esports as offering an inclusive, positive community that engages students no matter what their level of gaming experience is and offers pathways to a wide variety of careers in related fields.
Jim Malatras, SUNY chancellor, stated, “The SUNY esports league has seen enormous growth over the past few years, driven by student demand for the opportunity to participate in this positive, fun, and massively popular activity at their own campuses. Esports is the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world and SUNY is poised to be a destination for collegiate players.”
SUNY has partnered with LeagueSpot, a tournament engine for esports that makes it easy for campus teams to access competition rankings and communicate across SUNY schools. Popular games in esports like Rocket League, Valorant, and Overwatch are streamed on Twitch, then the results are uploaded directly on SUNY’s LeagueSpot page for students and viewers to access the results. SUNY New Paltz currently has teams competing in the Overwatch, Guilty Gear, Cod: Black Ops, Rocket League, Valorant and Call of Duty: Warzone leagues this semester.
“The popularity of esports has been on the rise over the past year and we are excited to see many students involved with it! We are allowed to submit as many teams as we have for each of the different game titles, so if you play any of these different games and would want to play at SUNY New Paltz, keep your eye out on our Instagram @npwellrec to see what games are going to be offered for the spring semester,” said Assistant Wellness and Recreation Director Kevin Makarewicz.
The esports playoffs began on Nov. 8 and may run until Dec. 10. SUNY New Paltz is allowed to submit as many teams as they have for each game title. Players may sign up as a full team or as an individual, and Makarewicz can connect all players to create a new team in the league if there are enough interested players.
“[Esports] provide a great way for New Paltz students to get involved and compete against their fellow SUNY schools and friends in an organized competition,” Makarewicz said. “The SUNY eSport League has continued to grow since it was started, and we look forward to continuing to enter New Paltz teams into the league.”
If you are a SUNY New Paltz student and interested in getting involved in esports, you can email Makarewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The link to the LeagueSpot server that schedules the matches and shows the different game titles offered is https://suny.leaguespot.gg/league.