League of Legends is a fast-paced game in which two teams each of five players face off in an epic battle. As Kien Lam points out in an article posted to the game’s official website, “[t]here are only two outcomes to any game of League of Legends. One team wins and one team loses — such is the law of our sport.” This last word is important: sport.
Goucher is a member of the Landmark Conference, which is part of the Division III level of collegiate athletics. The announcement was published on the Conference’s website on November 20, 2018. “The Landmark Conference will foster Esports competition for its member institutions during the spring semester of 2019…Six of the eight conference members will field teams, with competition occurring via Riot Game’s League of Legends property.” The announcement also notes that, “[w]hile competitive video gaming has existed essentially since the advent of video gaming technology, Esports began to mature into its present state as streaming technology became more widely available. The first collegiate teams started to emerge in the mid-2010s.”
As stipulated by the Landmark Conference, “Each Esports team must be recognized and sanctioned by its institution’s Office of Student Life/Affairs and/or athletic departments. Participants on each team must meet institutional requirements for good academic standing and be eligible to participate in school-sanctioned club or intercollegiate sports, as defined by the respective institution.” At Goucher, Esports is currently housed in our recreation department, which is also its source of funding.
In an interview with The Quindecim, Director of Student Wellness Jean Perez and Jennifer Macko, Campus Recreation Coordinator, talked about how the team came into existence, beginning with conversations with Zach Palmer, the president of the campus League of Legends club, beginning last spring. Perez also noted that her role involves “helping with logistics and the back end of things and getting things up and running” for the team.
Macko added that, “…since we’ve done the promotion recently, there’s been a lot of interest coming in, either for being a sub on the A team or forming a B team or even to help with viewership. There’s a lot of interest in streaming and a lot of people will just participate in Esports simply by watching Twitch streams, they really enjoy that.”
To see Esports in action, their tournament space is located in Ath 321, just behind the QR Center. Stationed outside of it is a friendly white noise machine to help reduce any sounds emanating from the room beyond. While both Perez and Macko expressed interest in eventually moving it closer to the athletic facilities, Perez pointed out that, “it seems like a good space so far.”
To livestream tournaments, check out the official Gopher Twitch stream at https://www.twitch.tv/goucherleagueoflegends.
The official Landmark Esports page is http://www.landmarkconference.org/sports/esports/2018-19/schedule?teamId=9sdj46kr3q1ivy4o.
To learn more about the team, either contact Zach Palmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jen Macko at Jennifer.Macko@goucher.edu.