Online competitive gaming is taking the collegiate world by storm in the form of Esports at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Esports is continuously growing each year, as the competitions are bigger and the stakes are higher.
Due to Covid-19, in person matches have been a rarity recently. This year, Esports is in full gear, and the Mavericks are more than excited to bring back in person events.
This Saturday the Mayo Clinic Event Center MSU will be hosting the Rockstar Energy Collegiate Esports Invitational. The event begins at 10:00 a.m. and will go until 7:00 p.m. that evening. Tickets are only $10 for a full-day experience, and are open to the public.
Zach Loes, a second year member of the MSU Esports team, touched on what Esports really is. “Esports in general is just competitive gaming practices. There are two aspects, one being scrimmages against teams from other schools and the other being Video on Demand (VOD) reviews,” said Loes. “VOD reviews are where we take gameplay from the pros and try to mimic how they play the game. We basically try to figure out how to play the game in the most efficient way possible.”
A few times throughout the year, collegiate Esports will have events, such as this weekend’s invitational, where schools from around the country come to compete against each other on a stage.
This year, the competition will feature more than 10 teams, live gaming in Call of Duty, Super SMASH Bros. and Rocket League with $5,000 in prize money on the line. The event will also feature pro NRG player, GarrettG.
Loes, who will be on one of the Maverick’s Call of Duty teams this weekend, shared his excitement for the event. “This is actually going to be my first local area network (LAN) event. For playoffs last year we were supposed to play at the University of Maryland, but because of Covid that was cut short,” said Loes. “I’m just really excited to finally play teams in person.”
The former National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) National Champions are confident in their abilities for not only the event, but for the remainder of the season. The season goal for the Mavericks is as high as it gets; win another national title. Loes also believes that one of their teams has the ability to win the tournament this weekend.
Those who are looking to support the Mavericks Esports team this weekend will be in for a day full of fun. Not only will you get to watch the competition live, there are also giveaways and scholarship opportunities, interactive booths from top companies in the industry, meet and greets, and so much more.
Header Photo: Rockstar Energy Collegiate Esports Invitational hosted at the Mayo Clinic Civic Health System Event Center commences on Sept. 17. Minnesota State University, Mankato is an official member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). (Dylan Engel/The Reporter)
Write to Ali Reed at Alicia.Reed@mnsu.edu