Collegians maybe cooped up because of COVID-19 restrictions, but even a pandemic couldn’t bottle up the call of competition.
Last month, Beacon College stuck a toe into the e-sports waters as Navigator teams battled for bragging rights against several Florida universities in the “Battle for Florida.”
eSports, according to CNN, “describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers: “Fortnite,” “League of Legends,” “Counter-Strike,” “Call of Duty,” “Overwatch,” and “Madden NFL,” to name a few. These gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online. Streaming services like Twitch allow viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time, and this is typically where popular gamers build up their fandoms.”
The “Battle for Florida” pitted Beacon against teams from the University of Central Florida and the University of Florida in “Rocket League,” which Wikipedia describes as a “a vehicular soccer video game.”
Think an audacious cross between soccer and “The Fast and the Furious.”
Beacon students Michael Schneider and William Heinig manned the “Beacon College Blue” team while Jack Jones and David Robbins helmed the “Beacon College Gold” squad.
A purely online event, players competed in their rooms on their own respective game consoles, said Kyle Close, Beacon coordinator of club and recreational sports.
The games did not go the Navigators way. Still, Close sees the experience as worthwhile.
“I’m just glad we started somewhere, even if there was a very wide gap between where we are and where our competition is,” he said. The experience, he added, paves the way for more expansive eSports experiences for students at Beacon College, America’s first accredited baccalaureate institution dedicated to educating primarily students who learn differently.
Beacon now has joined forces with UCF to provide tournaments other tourneys in games such as “Mario Kart 8” on October 13.