Esports adds serious firepower


Caleb Geer

A team to watch out for this season, the group looks forward to getting into the rhythm of scheduled practices in the refreshed room to prepare for quickly upcoming competitions.

by Caleb Geer, Staff Reporter

What started out as a casual club, Simpson College’s Esports Team is now fully equipped and ready for competition as the college’s newest addition to sports. 

Two years ago, the esports team received a space to keep equipment safe and accessible in the Campus Services building. As of now, that space is full of freshly unboxed computer equipment and other eye-catching tech. 

Director of esports, Hubert Whan Tong, worked with Simpson’s Information Technology Services, Finance and Student Development departments over the summer to solidify the plan to begin a varsity-level esports program which would need new equipment.

 “Simpson was incredibly gracious and was very good about future-proofing this. So, the investment that we made, this is going to be state-of-the-art tech probably for the next five to ten years,” said Whan Tong.

The equipment order has been in the works for the last two to three months and has taken the last few days to be assembled to the team’s liking. Empty cardboard boxes are still stacked in the room as the team begins to break in its new equipment.

The list of freshly acquired equipment includes but is not limited to new desks, 3080 Ti graphics cards, faster monitors, assorted Razer goodies, surround sound capable headsets and an 85-inch touch-screen TV. The team will run its new tech on an independent network solely devoted to gaming.

Whan Tong believes that this investment in the team shows proper backing of the program and legitimizes it. He believes it could draw more members as well with the exciting new equipment. Esports club president and League of Legends team captain, Seth Larson, agreed, calling it a “Big attractor for students.”

Larson can still recall when the team would use their own laptops before the new equipment showed up. Issues such as those surrounding internet reliability are hopefully a thing of the past.

With the freshly invigorated program heading into its inaugural season, it will compete in five different titles including, League of Legends, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, Magic the Gathering: Arena and Valorant. The catalog of games played for competition is set to grow as time passes. As more students join, Larson realizes that many other games will be brought up and discussed. As for now, the club will work with those who want to organize their own team for a different game.

“It’s still a very small tight-knit community. Even though it’s getting this massive glow-up, it doesn’t necessarily feel all that different if you’ve been invested in the scene for a while,” said Whan Tong. To him, it still has the great feeling it always has.

On the other side of things, Larson said, “The esports scene is constantly growing,” and is a “booming scene.” This segment in sports has grown at an unprecedented rate over the past few years and is set to continue this trend. For Simpson, it’s only the beginning.