Auburn Esports is a student organization that hosts teams for competitive video games, including League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League. It is also a community for people to connect with other Auburn students who play video games.
Perry Bunn, president of Auburn Esports and junior in computer science, grew up playing video games after school or soccer practice. When he came to Auburn, he made a Discord server to connect with people from different gaming-related clubs at Auburn.
Bunn said Auburn Esports began at the beginning of his sophomore year when he spoke to an Esports team on campus.
He said no other student organizations wanted to host Esports teams, so he seized the opportunity, and his server evolved to house Auburn Esports.
The organization handles almost everything for its five teams; they make team jerseys, help with travel costs and manage servers. Bunn said the organization does whatever it can to make things easier for the team so they can focus on the game.
“Esports is still becoming a bigger thing, and new games are coming out often,” said Neal Siegfried, vice president of Auburn Esports and junior in computer science. “So, you have to be willing to expand and try out different things because you never really know what’s going to be the biggest hit.”
Bunn said, in the long-term, he could see Esports becoming a varsity sport, but it comes down to Esports being recognized by more colleges in the Southeastern Conference, not just by Auburn.
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According to Siegfried, other schools on the west coast are already taking Esports seriously. He said he agrees that Esports, to a degree, are different than traditional sports, but they are still very competitive, and it is possible to play them professionally.
“I think [Esports] is a sport because it is competitive, and it requires the same … almost the same amount of learning and game knowledge that football or soccer or baseball requires,” Bunn said. “It requires practice and time and a commitment and for team games, it requires communication, just like any other team game.”
According to Bunn, the organization isn’t just for competitive teams. They also host social events and welcome anyone looking for people to play video games with to join their Discord server.
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