First Utica College Esports Club Formed on Campus

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Photo: Sidney Domroes

Abin Boris, Sports Editor

The world of esports dates back to 1972 but it was not until the 2000s that the sport was able to gain some traction. 

With sites like Twitch and YouTube allowing people to now stream video games and show off their skills, the world of esports has taken off. 

As of 2016, schools have started to add esports as a competitive sport in which they compete against other schools. There are currently around 130 colleges and universities that offer an esports team with thousands taking part in competitions while not having an official team. 

Utica College has yet to add a program for esports but they have participated in competitions against other schools. While Utica College does not have an official team, over a month ago some students came together and formed the school’s first Esports Club. 

One of the founding club members, Freshman Hong Jin, had been looking to start a club like this since he visited Utica College during an open house event. 

“I tried to find people back when I visited the school,” he said. “I did not have much luck because I was a bit shy to talk to people.” 

This did not stop Jin and his hope of starting the college’s first esports club. He continued his search by putting out some messages on a Utica College open board seeking others who would potentially want to join him in his plan.

From there the ball started moving. He received a message back from an eventual founding member of the club. The two started to piece together the first five people to be a part of the club. 

When it was all said and done Jin and the four other co-founders of the group were ready to make the club official. The only thing standing in their way was the fact that they had to find someone willing to be the club’s advisor. 

“I was unsure who to ask to be the advisor seeing as I was new on campus,” Jin said. “My advisor, Joanne Pluff came to mind and when I asked if she would be alright with being our advisor she said yes.” 

And from there on Sep. 14, 2020 the first esports club was official and eager to get going. 

The creation of the organization comes specific goals for the founding members. Senior Ryan Becker, founding member of the club noted many things that he hopes can come from the start of this club. 

“Our goal of this club is to expose Utica College students to the rapidly growing realm of competitive gaming,” he said. “We are looking to attract students from all walks of life that want to share an interest with like-minded individuals.” 

The club has already started to do some events on campus. They plan on doing as much as they can while also following proper guidelines that are administered by the school. 

“We plan on hosting events on campus,” he said. “In fact, we have already held a scrimmage virtually against another school on campus. We have plans to do gaming marathons, broadcast games, and even fundraisers in the future. There is much more to come.”


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