The GC eports team is one of three coed teams affiliated with the athletic department. The team plays the multiplayer video game League of Legends.
League of Legends is a strategy-based online battle where teams work to defeat the opposing team and destroy the nexus, or their base. It is a very popular online game all over the world.
“It might actually be the biggest online multiplayer game in the world,” said junior Anthony Parsons, a computer science major. “It has a lot of international tournaments and a lot of support behind it.”
The team competes with seven other teams from the Peach Belt Conference. However, despite being coed, there are no female players on the team as of yet.
When the team was first being formed, they posted signups on Facebook and held open tryouts to recruit the best players for the team. Despite the team being open to any player, no females joined the team.
Junior John Bills, a psychology major, who controls and defends the middle lane for the team’s side, said it’s difficult to find women interested enough in playing League competitively.
“Unfortunately, I think the League community is somewhere like 90-to-10 in the U.S. for male-to-female,” Bills said. “It’s hard to find all the female [players].”
Many of the players are also involved in the student organization Georgia College League of Legends. While some of the member of the organization are females, none seem to be interested in playing League for the team.
“Most people don’t like to play League competitively,” Bills said. “It’s more for fun.”
Parsons said he believes League was a good game choice for the team to compete in since it’s one of the most popular games. However, he acknowledges the challenges that could be faced when recruiting.
“It’s a little bit challenging just because you have five different roles you need to fill,” Parsons said. “So it can be tricky to find five different people that get along well, that work well together and can all each fill those unique roles. But when you find some flexible people, [it’s] fine.”
Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Al Weston sees value in eSports in regards to how it fits in with Georgia College.
“I see it aligning really well with the Georgia College student, to the point to where I think [the athletic department] can do some cross-promotion stuff and get involved with it like that,” Weston said.
Weston said he is excited for the future of the team. He believes that esports will continue to grow and expand and do more games besides just League of Legends. Weston claimed that the potential expansion could also attract more female players and encourage them to join.
“If there aren’t, for whatever reason, League of Legends fans on this campus that are female, maybe there are females that play Overwatch or Smash Brothers or other of those esports types of games,” Weston said.
Both Weston and Bills see the potential improvements for the team if women join.
Bills said female players can offer different perspectives which could benefit them team.
“It’s a strategy game, so one person shouldn’t be the contributor, so lots of different views from different walks of life and everything would definitely help,” Bills said.
Weston agreed and said that esports being coed is unique and having female players could catch people’s attention.
“That’s the great thing about esports, too, is that gender doesn’t matter,” Weston said. “It’s not stronger, faster, taller, any of those things [don’t] come into play at all. It could truly be as coed as coed could possibly be. That’s one of the neat aspects of it.”
Weston acknowledged some of the limits the team is already facing when it comes to competing. “They’re finding cases where some of the guys aren’t available on certain weekends,” Weston said. “They need to get some depth.”
The next preseason game is Friday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. against Georgia Southwestern