eSports club at NAIT rebuilding an interconnected community for student gamers

by | Nov 7, 2022 | Arts & Life

Gamers can look forward to a rapidly evolving community with the reopening of the eSports Club at NAIT (ESAN). With games like League of Legends, Valorant, Super Smash Brothers and Apex Legends, there’s a space for all types of gamers. Pierce England, the new president of ESAN, has been preparing for a fun semester of casual and competitive gaming. 

England, who is in the DMIT program, was excited to take on a leadership role and help his peers connect in person and online through their shared passion.

“I’ve always wanted to take on management roles whether it be at work or something I’m involved with at school, I just feel like I haven’t been given the opportunity much,” said England.

In the short time he’s been president, England has organized a user-friendly Discord server with over 100 active users. The server holds online events such as Meme Competitions and Among Us nights to help members of the club break the ice. 

“We have a Minecraft server that we launched as well. That was really successful…it’s been great. There’s been well over 30 people who have wanted to be whitelisted and have played on the server,” said England.

ESAN is also working on registering members in the College League of Legends (CLoL) Fall Warmup. England says he’d like to have ESAN represented in more tournaments in the future.

“I would have to scout what the talent is for the games that we want to compete with…I would love to be able to represent NAIT at the CLoL tournament. There’s a lot of Valorant tournaments that are coming up too…I’d love to go to the Smash weeklies and have a few players represent NAIT there as well,” said England.

After reading NAITSA’s Campus Clubs Handbook, England reached out to the University of British Columbia Esports Association’s co-president, Kaden MacKay, for inspiration. With over 4000 users on Discord and partners like Telus and Lenovo, UBC’s student-run eSports Association is a benchmark for non-profit student clubs.

“They have an enormous eSports org there…It’s really cool. I talked to [one of] the presidents of that eSports org [and] he suggested that we should do [multi-game tournaments], so that’s something I’d also like to do,” said England.

MacKay recommended that ESAN merge with similar NAIT student clubs, so ESAN is combining forces with other multiplayer gaming clubs at NAIT to nurture an interconnected eSports community for students.

“…I think I can provide a lot of input and ideas and they can also tell me what has happened in the past and what works and what doesn’t work,” said England.

The ESAN Discord server will have different “wings” for each game so that members can participate in their game of choice. This also helps casual players ease into the community without being overwhelmed. 

“People will have a lot of fun and I think it’s really important that they make connections in the eSports club, especially post-COVID,” said England.

Currently, ESAN is on the lookout for students who may be able to help the club amp up their social media presence, another suggestion England received from MacKay. There’s potential for ESAN to gain traction through fundraisers and community events and students are encouraged to get involved.

“If you’re interested [in gaming], even if it’s not just in eSports, join the Discord. Just by being in the general chat there’s so many people who are looking to play games pretty much every night,” said England.

Students interested in joining ESAN can check them out on the Ooks Life website. They can also stop by the NAITSA Clubs Showcase on October 13 and 14 to check out ESAN and other clubs NAIT has to offer.

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