LARC home to budding LU e-sports community


Photo by Jessica Spivey

Overwatch players Joshua Coone, Sean Greenwood and Amanda Krsul work together to defeat their opponents from Florida Tech College. Greenwood serves as the in-game lead and analyst on the Overwatch team.

Taylor McDaniel, Reporter

Lindenwood is home to one of today’s newest gaming trends: e-sports.

E-sports, also known as competitive professional gaming, is an organized sport, watched by millions of fans. Some schools, such as Robert Morris University in Chicago, have varsity e-sports programs.

Popular video games played in e-sports include Overwatch, Call of Duty, and Super Smash Bros.

Rocky Hernandez is the advisor for Lindenwood’s gaming teams. He said that while looking into starting a few teams, he decided on three: Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege.

“From there, we found more members to join by spreading the word out a bit more and eventually established the teams late last semester,” Hernandez said.

Currently, the teams compete internally and against other schools.  

Madison Talley, captain of the Overwatch team, got it signed up for its first competition.  The team is competing in the Tespa Open Collegiate Tournament in an effort to get its name out.

Talley said she grew up playing video games with her dad and has “always enjoyed playing competitively.”

“When I heard that Lindenwood was starting up a team, I immediately jumped on and got involved,” she said.

Team captain Maddie Talley leads her team of six players in an Overwatch scrimmage against Florida Tech College on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
Photo by Jessica Spivey

Dominic Walton, the League of Legends captain, said e-sports are unique because they are more accessible for anyone to succeed if they have the right motivation.  

“I feel that e-sports are more available to anyone that is interested than sports like football or basketball,” he said.

However, many people give e-sports flack for not being “an actual sport.”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill, esp. (particularly in modern use) one regulated by set rules or customs in which an individual or team competes against another or others.”

Walton said it is incorrect to argue that video games fall outside this definition because they do not involve physical exertion.  

“That’s not true.” Walton said. “Sure, there isn’t the same kind of exertion as a football player, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any.”

Another similarity to more traditional sports is that in practice, e-sports players strategize about specific scenarios pertaining to the game.  

The regulations for a game to become a part of e-sports are simple: to have fair rules and a required level of skill.

All three teams at Lindenwood are actively looking for more members to join the teams. Those interested can email Walton at [email protected] or Hernandez at [email protected] for more information.  

The teams play in the Media and Gaming Lab, which houses a collection of board games, video games, books, and digital devices for all students.