A Noob’s Guide to Esports

man playing video game

The esports teams have had a very successful season this year. According to Club President Brockton McCrory, the teams have competed across multiple titles so far this year and are looking to continue their success this spring. Their accomplishments so far include a top-32 national finish by the Overwatch Varsity Team in the Major League Gaming Collegiate Qualifiers, a playoff qualification by the Rocket League Varsity Team, a second-place finish in the Collegiate Champions League by the Valorant Varsity Team, and a first-place finish in the CCL by the League of Legends Varsity Team.

Having so many successful gamers on campus makes it even more important for the DSU community to support them and all the hard work that they put into their seasons. The Trojan gamers have some tips to help non-gamers get involved with and understand the world of the esports program.

Tip #1: Watch Their Live-Streamed Games on Twitch.
Just like the other sports on campus, students can show their support to the esports teams by watching their games. The difference is that esports games are streamed on Twitch instead of played in a gym or on a field. While many inexperienced non-gamers might be intimidated by watching these games without any knowledge of what’s going on, Brockton reassures them that this shouldn’t be a problem because these streamed games are talked through by announcers called “casters”. He explains, “The Twitch live-streams are shoutcasted matches of our Varsity players, with special attention paid to decreasing the biggest barrier-to-entry in our scene: knowledge.” The goal of shoutcasting the matches is to encourage more of the DSU community to tune in to their games.

Tip #2: Patience is Key to Understanding Esports.
As expected, learning the ropes of esports takes time. Valorant player Caleb Schneider says that “the games won’t make a lot of sense at first glance,” but he encourages new players that “it is very similar to learning how a normal sport works.” Another player, Tyler Thomas, agrees and claims that “simply watching gameplay is one of the best places to start in a complex shooter game like Valorant and that’s where most of our players started too!” The best way to learn how to appreciate esports is to be brave, get involved, and figure out the rest as you go.

Tip #3: Ask Questions.
Joining the world of esports can be scary at first even if you do follow the above tips. That’s why the esports team suggests that new supporters speak up and ask questions. Caleb says, “Another good way to learn is to talk about the game and ask questions with someone who is an experienced player.” These questions can be asked directly, but Tyler explains that “There’s also a live chat where you can cheer and chat with the rest of the viewers or even ask the caster questions during the game. From my experience, anyone in the esports program would gladly help anyone understand more about gaming since that’s essentially half of our lives.” Learning anything new can be hard, including esports, but DSU has a great group of gamers who will gladly help and encourage anyone who shows interest in learning more about their sport.

Tip #4: Cheer Them on!
Even if you don’t quite have a grip on the ins and outs of esports yet, you can still use your voice to cheer them on. According to Tyler, even dropping a few emotes in the livestream chat is enough to show love to the esports team. Caleb adds that “what means the most to us is just watching and trying to cheer us on even if our supporters don’t fully understand what is going on.” Andrew Geurts, a Fighting Games player, also appreciates the support from community members who join their livestreams. He says, “I know for our scene, we always find it enjoyable when someone is watching our bracket live and commentating in Twitch chat. I can only imagine that that kind of support is really appreciated across the whole esports scene.”

Tip #5: Check Out Their Discord.
Another way to get involved or ask the esports teams questions, is to log on to their Discord. Brockton explains, “Our Discord server is our best point of contact for everyone within our organization, from inquiring within with questions or getting more involved!” The team’s Discord is a great place for all new supporters to start looking for information and showing their support.