The UTD esports program is wrapping up its inaugural year and ramping up fall recruitment with a new “Super Smash Bros.” team and overall good records for “League of Legends” and “Overwatch.”
The esports program was launched in August and now has teams for three different games. Esports director and head coach Greg Adler said the team has had a successful first year.
“I think it went pretty smoothly for our first year.” Adler said. “I think it’s a good sign going into the future.”
The teams have participated in several competitions throughout the year including the first-ever Texas Clash, a “League of Legends” tournament hosted by the University of North Texas. UTD competed against seven other teams and won both the first and second place spots. The team has also competed in a tournament at the Tulsa Pop Culture Expo in which the “League of Legends” team placed second and third.
ATEC junior and “Overwatch” support Blake Day said the team’s cooperation and performance have improved over the course of the semester.
“I feel I’ve gotten a lot better. One of the main things is that our teamwork has gotten a lot better as the year’s gone by. As a team we look so much better than we did at the beginning of the semester,” Day said. “Even if individually we haven’t all gotten better, which we probably have, our teamwork has come the furthest and it shows, and it’s what makes us as good as we are.”
The team trains three times a week for two hours at a time, Monday through Wednesday. Sunday is reserved for matches.
Mechanical engineering freshman and “League of Legends” jungler Ryan Joslin said the team introduced him to new people who shared his passion for video games.
“I’ve been playing this game for a really long time, and it was really nice to know that there’s a community that played “League of Legends” and it was a good experience overall,” Joslin said. “I learned a lot of new things, I met some good people, and I just had a really good time.”
New members are being recruited through the team’s Discord server and through the UTD esports website. The positions being offered are not limited to just those who play video games competitively: Analysts, coaches, video editors and streamers are encouraged to join.
“A lot of it just gets down to word of mouth. Really just try to put the word out there that we’re having tryouts and everyone’s encouraged to join and just showing what the benefits are of being a part of the program,” Adler said. “I think we’ll definitely expand to more games, and I think we just up everything a little bit now that we’ve had a year of experience under our belt. I think we know how things are supposed to go and kind of have the flow going right into the year. I think everything is going to be a little better next year and it’ll show in our results.”