Got Game? Gamers Team Up Through Esports Program
by Florence Zhang
The eSports program at Pitt-Greensburg welcomes all gamers who want to start playing competitively. The program currently offers seven teams, all led by Coach Daniel O’Connor.
Pitt-Greensburg eSports club was created in 2019 by a group of students from Nerdfighters who wanted to play the game “Overwatch” more competitively. They have since added a variety of games, including titles such as “League of Legends,” “Rocket League,” and “Fortnite.” The group originally met in person, then switched to a virtual format, but has since returned to in person.
O’Connor, who also serves as a help-desk analyst in Pitt-Greensburg’s Information Technology department, shares students’ enthusiasm for all-things eSports.
“I’m so engaged with giving the students the opportunity to compete more in eSports,” O’Connor says. “And it was a change of pace from working in IT.”
O’Connor also says that it is nice to interact with students who are passionate about a mutual subject, and wishes to give students “that pro experience.”
O’Connor says he likes seeing students work off of each other and create long-lasting friendships. He hopes that those who want to join don’t hesitate to reach out to players or him.
The program seeks to be as open as possible, so long as students are willing to put in the time and effort. A typical week on the team consists of one match, one practice, and a 30-minute talk, which adds up to around four to six hours of mandatory time. In the members’ own time, they’re required to play around 10 ranked games. The program tries to provide a more flexible schedule for balance.
Sydney Spino, a sophomore Data Analytics major, is a member of the “League of Legends” team in the program.
“It doesn’t feel like a time commitment,” Spino says. “I do it because I enjoy it, and members will often play with each other too.”
Spino wasn’t sure of joining at first, but was sure she wanted to play more competitively.
“Being able to play video games professionally was something I never thought would happen at college,” Spino says.
Pitt-Greensburg eSports has allowed students to meet new people with similar interests while still having fun. The program offers socialization opportunities for not only campus residents, but also commuters.
Thomas Christafano, a senior IT major, is also a member of the “League of Legends” team.
“I’m a commuter, so it’s hard to meet people,” Christafano says. “It’s been nice to find people who have a shared interest.”
The teams are actively seeking members, and O’Connor encourages students at Pitt-Greensburg to join in the fun.
For more information or to sign up for a team, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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