If you’re a student here at the Mount, you’ve likely glared into the dimly lit room on Seton’s ground floor between the Police Department and the West Elevator to see what was going on within.

esports mousepad

Don’t think we don’t notice you - we’ve nicknamed the room “The Fish Bowl” because people are constantly staring in.

Through the slim window in the door, you’ll find eight desks with computer boxes and monitors full of rainbow light emanating from the components within.  In front of those computers and monitors you’ll find students not unlike yourself playing an assortment of online games.  You may be wondering, “Why have a room solely dedicated to playing video games?  Isn’t that a waste of space?” 

To answer your question, let’s start with the basics.  What is Esports?  Well, to put it simply, Esports stands for “electronic sports” or, in most cases, video games.  Esports consists of teams or individuals competing, usually in a bracket, to win within their conference.  It’s set up much like traditional athletics in that way. 

In the case of the Mount, we are sanctioned under NACE Starleague, which is the leading collegiate Esports facilitator in North America (nsl.leaguespot.gg).  What this means is that NACE organizes the conferences and the bracket and sets the guidelines for each game. The Mount currently has teams for “Fortnite,” “Overwatch 2,” “Madden,” “Rocket League” andValorant.”  Other available titles under NACE include “League of Legends,” “DOTA 2,” “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege,” “Smash Brothers Ultimate,” and even Chess.com. 

Now that you have a better idea as to what Esports is, why care?  Let’s take it back to the original question – why should the university fund it or have a space dedicated to it?  Well, while Esports is, in theory, competitive video games, it can be so much more. 

Esports provides most everything a traditional sports team does.  It encourages teamwork, problem solving, and strategic thinking.  It also, much more importantly, provides a community for students who might not have gotten involved on campus otherwise. 

While speaking to students about their experience, they all shared the same sentiment.  They said that Esports is a tight-knit community that gives students who may not be gifted athletically the chance to work together on a team.  Like most other teams, they’re able to build a comradery that transcends the field (or in our case, the map).  So, to answer our question, you should care for the same reason you care about any other group or sport on campus: because you’re supporting students doing what they love and encouraging them to build up the Mount community.

If you’d like to follow the MSJ Lion’s Esports teams’ progress, follow us on Instagram @themount_esports or stream our matches on Twitch @msj_lion_esports.