By Lauren Gudknecht
With some sports getting back into their normal routine, KU’s esports team is still being impacted with playing time, leaving the esports Arena empty.
“COVID-19 has certainly impacted the way that we practice,” stated Evan Shimkanon, an esports board officer. “Most students who prefer to use the esports top-of-the-line computers must use their own equipment and internet connections from home.”
Esports is still taking place, with members playing Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros, Rainbow Six Siege, Call of Duty and Hearthstone as well as practicing on a regular weekly basis, but some games such as Smash require the use of the room.
Some teams will practice entirely remotely which benefits those students that live farther away off campus or those in a population of risk.
“Club members are still allowed to use the room during practice times while wearing a mask and ensuring proper social distancing protocols are followed,” said Shimkanon.
The equipment is cleaned after each use so that the next person to use the computer can practice in a safe environment.
“Open gaming hours, which were very popular in the spring 2020 semester, are not in place for the time being, as the room should explicitly be used and maintained for the esports athletes of our team,” mentioned Shimkanon in the interview.
The esports team will host and participate in tournaments, as usual.
“The Overwatch and COD teams participate in TESPA league matches every week, and other games such as League of Legends and Hearthstone work in a concerted manner to improve as a group at their games,” said Shimkanon.
Shimkanon said the team is looking forward to hosting community events to celebrate other games whose communities may not be as strong at KU, but certainly deserve some time in the spotlight as esports games.
“Soon we will collaborate with Gamers of KU (GOKU) for other tournament style events to raise money for COVID-19 relief funds as well as bringing the various gaming communities of KU closer together while being apart,” Shimkanon said.