As a first year, Josh Lauer ’19 was looking to meet other students who played video games. He lived in Loomis Hall and left his door open when he played, hoping that someone else would recognize the sound and join him. His plan worked: he met Lilly Chen ’19 and together, they have started Colorado College’s first Esports team. The club is in its one-year probation period in hopes of becoming an official club sports team.
CC Esports currently has two official teams — Overwatch, with 14 members, and League of Legends, with 10 members. They have four prospective teams — Super Smash Bros., Fortnite, Hearthstone, and Rocketleague. Members often commit upwards of 10 hours per week to practicing and playing their game.
“This group of friends is just as tight as any other group on campus,” Chen said. “I care about them and I try to let them know that.”
Chen has many different responsibilities as a co-founder of the team, ranging from team and lab management, including scheduling practice time for everyone and helping to clean the lab, to public relations work, and working with prospective members. Before their first game of the season, they organized a team bonding event at Trampoline World.
Last year, members of the Esports team practiced and played in the GIS lab in Tutt Library whenever it was not being used by a class. At the beginning of this year, they received their own lab — Palmer 1, complete with 12 new computers, paid for by a donation from Logitech. Since the library reopened and more computer lab space was created, the computers from the general use lab in Palmer have been moved to the library and the space became available. Members have 24/7 swipe access, and Chen schedules dedicated time for different teams to practice.
“I really like playing with other people at the school in the lab, especially given how nice our program has become in the last few years,” Max Pil ’20 said.
Pil is a member of the Overwatch team who recently made it to the top 500 in the global leaderboards and became one of the top thirty players in his specific hero, Hammond. According to Chen, it places him within the top 0.1% of Overwatch players.
“It was a lot of validation in terms of the time I’ve put into improving, but it’s also just really cool to play with professionals every game,” Pil said. “I want to try to hit Top 100 by the end of this season, and hopefully our team can find broad tournament success as well.”
Upon his accomplishment, Pil became one of the best in the game and the team rewarded him with a shirt that had his hero — which looks like a hamster — printed on it.
“When he plays his hero, he is one of the best in the game,” Chen said. “We have to play him. He brings confidence to the team.”
Looking towards the rest of the year, Chen wants to continue to spread the word and grow the Esports program at CC. They are working with Admissions to host prospective students who are interested in Esports as well as putting information about the team in admissions literature. Interested CC students should reach out to them for more information about how to join!
In their first matches of the year on Sept 30, the Overwatch team defeated Indiana-Purdue University 2-0 and University of South Carolina 2-0. Their next games will be Oct 7.