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New eSports Counter-Strike team represents SNC


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Sierra Nevada College’s new Electronic Sports(eSports) gaming team and club is now fully active and competing as of Wednesday, April 8.

The initial idea of an SNC gaming team was cultivated in Fall 2014 by Senior Keck Angle and Senior Carl Wernhoff.  They decided on the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to compete with.

“Using fliers throughout the fall and early spring, and after some trials and tests of dedication, we have arrived at the five man team that we will be competing with in the National Collegiate eSports Association Counter-Strike League,” said Wernhoff.

The team consists of Senior Keck Angle, Senior Carl Wernhoff, Kosei Champillion, Wes Brenton, Connor Smith and alternates Senior Sean Burke and Senior Payton Roberts, but Angle says it could be stronger with more players.

“We could have had 10 players on the team, but some players that I talked to didn’t want to be part of it or didn’t want to be labeled a gamer,” said Angle. “Now I am clinging to five.”

While Angle started the gaming club because of his interest in eSports, he is also using its creation for his Interdisciplinary 201: Service Learning class.

“I was going to do it anyway, but when I read up on the syllabus of Service Learning, I thought it met a lot of the requirements,” said Angle.  “It forces me to work on applying my leadership skills to organize and be a leader of a team.”

The Service Learning class, required for all Interdisciplinary majors, is based around creating personal connections and relationships to the community through 60 volunteer hours.  Angle’s specific service project focuses on the blending of his two majors, Psychology and Outdoor Adventure Leadership.

“I was always the kid who just showed up to sports practice and played,” said Angle.  “Now I am working on what it takes to start a team, not just in leadership but the psychological aspect of it as well.”

Angle helps his team prepare by scheduling practice for the club three times a week in the library.

“We have prepared individually but also practice at school every Sunday, Monday and Thursday evening where we go through and practice offensive as well as defensive plays together, like in any sport,” said Wernhoff.

While the status of the team as a club allows anyone who plays computer or video games to join, Angle says he is frustrated with the view of eSports at SNC.

“It is just not recognized as a sport,” said Angle.  “We’re behind the curve.  In Europe they fill stadiums for this.”

“eSports is catching on at some colleges and universities where they have it included on their official sports rosters and even offer scholarships to students who play on a certain skill level,” says Wernhoff.

According to ABC News, “students are getting paid to game at an Illinois university, and the school says the first season of its eSports team is such a success that the program will definitely continue next year.”

One specific difference between eSports and most other collegiate sports is the opportunity to make money, according to Wernhoff.

“eSports has large traction and a surprisingly large amount of money in it too. Professional teams can win $100,000 from winning one tournament, divided by the 5 team members,” Wernhoff said. “Usually a team plays 2-10 tournaments in a year. We, in the collegiate league, are competing for a $2,500 prize pool.”

The one stipulation, says Angle, is that half of the money that is won goes back to the individual team.

“It would be amazing to see Sierra Nevada College, who I think sees itself as a progressive school, get behind this new varsity sport and be part of the forefront of collegiate eSports in the US,” said Wernhoff.  “I think it will just become bigger and bigger, and the schools that will be the most successful and get the most attention are those who get behind their teams the most and support them.”

 

All matches start at 9 p.m. and live video can be found at twitch.tv/ncespa

 

 

Jamie Wanzek

WES BENSON practices with teammates Carl Wernhoff and Ceck Angle on famous Counter Strike map “Dust.” Each match during the tournaments has a different map scheduled and the team must prepare different strategies for each situation.

 

 

WESTERN CONFERENCE SCHEDULE

 

4/8/15 vs University of Southern California

4/14/15 vs Stanford

4/15/15 vs University of San Diego

4/22/15 vs University of Minnesota

4/28/15 vs University of British Columbia

5/6/15 vs University of Reno

5/12/15 vs Cal State Long Beach

 

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The student news site of Sierra Nevada College
New eSports Counter-Strike team represents SNC