Esports department gives back through summer camp
Emaan BangashManaging Editor
POSTEDJune 16, 2019
Coaching staff, players to provide training to attendees on popular competitive games
With the inaugural year of UTD’s esports department ending, the teams decided to help out the community through an esports summer camp.
From June 17 to July 28, the department will host three 5-day sessions in the Sector 7 Energy Gaming Arena. The camp is open to the public and people of all ages. Currently, the list of games available for people to learn are as follows: “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” “Super Smash Bros.,” “Fortnite” and “Apex Legends.”
Head coach Greg Adler led the organization of the summer camp and recruited other students and UTD esports players to help participate in teaching people at the camp. Ten people will be involved in training campers, with one to two players devoted to instructing within each game.
“It’s something that we’ve seen done at a lot of other camps at universities across the country and it’s just something that provides the opportunity for those out there in the community that may have never had an opportunity to do something like this,” Adler said.
The camp will involve individual and group sessions to hone skills and gauge what participants need to improve in their gameplay. Participants will sign up with a game in mind that they want to improve in and will get training focused on that game specifically.
“A lot of it has to do with having the campers play their games, have us watch and see what they can improve upon and then implement those things, set goals for them, watch back videos of their gameplay,” Adler said. “We want it to be very individually tailor-made to the people that will be attending, and we want them to be able to get a good experience and get something that they can remember and help them improve as a whole.”
Computer engineering sophomore Ryan Kennedy “TPPC,” who plays for the UTD “Overwatch” team, plans to help train people who are interested in improving their skills in “Fortnite” and “Apex Legends” specifically. Although Kennedy has played “Overwatch” since its release in 2016, he said he had a lot of interest in battle royale games for years and has an opportunity to share his knowledge with others on those games.
“I know a lot of people tend to request help from players on the team but because our schedules don’t allow for it, this is a way for us to give back,” he said.
Kennedy said he wants to give people the tools they need to go forward and get better. He said this mostly involves instilling a positive mindset within participants and helping them understand that improvement will not happen overnight.
“You’re not going to be able to improve from just casually playing the game to competing at a super high level in a five-day camp,” Kennedy said. “I want to change their mindset into one that helps them self-improve, one that can help them recognize their mistakes, one that sort of removes any sort of toxic behavior that’s holding them back, and maybe give them exercises that they‘d be able to continue to do regularly that, over time, would get them to the point that they’re wanting to be at.”
Kennedy said he’d like the campers to enjoy themselves while training to make the improvement process easier.
“I just want the people in the camps to have fun most of all because I feel like that’s a very good way for them to want to keep improving at the game,” Kennedy said. “Making that process enjoyable for them to improve while still having fun is significantly more likely to get them to the level they want and make sure that they are successful in their endeavors.”