First online and all gender varsity team- Esports


Chris Ferman

Augie Esports member Evan Webber plays matches of Valorant at the Esports House.

Stuti Shrestha

Esports is a competitive sport which is played online. It has been a club for four years, but this year, it was launched by Augustana as the first all-gender varsity sport on campus.

Director of esports Joseph Loomis feels that the team is taking the time to find the right participants, and soon, the team will be at its best phase.

“Esports has existed since 2017 as a club sport. I am having an opportunity to take what students created and utilize the foundation to develop our program into a competitive realm,” Loomis said. “The transition really hasn’t taken its full effect yet. I am still into recruiting season right now.”

He is enrolling and motivating upcoming students to join the team and believes a lot of students have shown their interest in this program. He is proud of the amount of international students who have shown interest in the team and the amount of diversity this team displays.

“We actually had our first international virtual session, and we have a couple of students, especially from Brazil, that are very excited about this program,” Loomis said. “There are athletes from Maryland, Washington, and other places of the U.S who are also showing their interest in this program.”

Since esports takes place all online, athletes do not do as many physical activities as other varsity sports. Due to this reason, the team is partnering with Fit Gamer, where athletes log metrics about sleep, nutrition, and other aspects of their lifestyles.

“For the athlete’s health and fitness, we’re partnering with an organization called Fit Gamer. A game advisor gives them a score based on their metrics. I log in and see their scores, and if I see they haven’t got enough sleep or haven’t eaten quite enough, I will have a conversation with them and try my best to help them out.” Loomis said.

The esports team has been having a great start this year by winning each week. Loomis tries his best to keep the team motivated and prepared.

“This year I am happy to see the success of the team. I have been encouraging them that the game is never about wins and losses, it’s about building a foundation of success,” Loomis said. “We talk about preparation for our game and learning to be an esport athlete not a gamer.”

Senior Evan Webber started playing for the team the day he joined freshman year. He used to be captain and guided the team when it was the club.

“I’ve been in the club since I was a freshman,, but I started to play competitively this year as a varsity athlete,” Webber said.

Webber feels the team has been doing well and is on a winning streak. He wants the team to make it to the playoffs.

“We started the season pretty strong, this last season we faced a couple of losses. I am hoping to win this last match of the season so that we can qualify for playoffs, and that would be really good for us.” Webber said.

Junior Emoilola Igun found esports to be fun, and he finds his roommates to be his support while in need.

“I have been playing FIFA for four years and this year I have joined esports and am looking forward to having many victories,” Igun said. “My roommates and I are all involved in esports. We all are doing pretty well and we help each other.”

Junior Kashav Piya joined the club as a first-year on campus. Piya found playing for varsity is different from playing for a club. He believes his coach has helped him in this transition.

“I have been playing here for the past two years. This is my third year and the transition to a varsity team was challenging for me.” Piya said. “We have multiple sessions with our coach where we discuss strategy, so it has been quite helpful.”

Junior Virgil Ngo, being one of the two women athletes in esport teams, mentioned that she feels more comfortable approaching male teammates.

“I will say, being a person who plays games, it makes me understand the guys more,” Ngo said. “Sometimes it’s hard to get my voice in because the guy’s voices are louder, but eventually we understand each other and work things out.”

First-year Finbar Martin is a reserve and shoutcaster for the overmatch. He feels that he has been more involved in games by doing commentary and showing what players are doing in games.

“Players have six computers they play on then we stream those matches on Twitch and talk over and explain what is actually happening,” Martin said. “While broadcasting for players, I have built a friendship with them as well, I have learned more about commenting on online games.”

Athletes of esports are looking forward to entering the playoffs by winning their last match. With lots of wins, they have a positive mentality and hope for the game to be in their favor.