Texas Wesleyan’s eSports program, which launched last spring, began tryouts and practices the first week of school this semester.
Eugene Frier, executive director of eSports and recreation, said there are six teams in the program, including League of Legends, FIFA, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Super Smash Bros and Madden.
Overwatch began their season in September with a tournament in Irving; Hearthstone and Madden seasons begin in October; and several teams start their season next spring.
Frier said 30 more students than were participating in the spring have signed up and turned in paperwork. Each team practices on their own.
“Our practice that we do depends on the game and how long it takes to complete matches,” Frier said. “For example, right now Overwatch will be practicing 12 or so hours a week and in that time they will get through four-six games.”
Frier said tryouts are during both game season and in the off season.
“Tryouts involve myself, the coaches of the teams watching the players play the game that they are interested in and we evaluate their performance,” he said. “I also speak with each of our recruits one on one to talk about the program and give some basic expectations.”
Frier said there will be a lot of exciting things happening with the program, including different teams going to tournaments as well as events being hosted on campus and social media management positions being available.
“If everything thing goes according to plan for the program, we will have at least 40 students combined across each of the six competitive teams,” Frier wrote in an e-mail.
Cameron Bennett, coach and captain of the Super Smash Bros team, said that eSports is different from regular sports in a way because it is more about thinking about reflexes, strategies and overall knowledge of the game.
“You need to be able to understand the mechanics of the game, such as how long a certain character in the game moves within the certain amount of frames,” said Bennett, a senior criminal justice major.
Senior business major Jacob Chesney, coach of the Hearthstone team and coordinator of eSports, feels that some of these games are much more practice intensive.
Chesney said games like Hearthstone can be practiced alone.
“The time that we do spend practicing together is dedicated to having a team dynamic and making sure that we as a team understand what everybody else is playing and how they are doing,” Chesney said.
Frier said he and Chesney are never going to be done looking for people to be on the teams.
“We want people that want to be here,” Frier wrote. “We can’t teach these students to care, but we can teach them to get better.”
The Rambler apologizes for the fact errors published in the print version of the story. They have been corrected for the online version.