The Charger Blog

Tournament Reflects Increasing Popularity of ESports on Campus

ESports, organized, multiplayer video game competitions, are becoming increasingly popular across the country – including at the University of New Haven, where students come together for friendly competitions.

March 14, 2019

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of eSports tournament
An eSports tournament featuring the popular Super Smash Bros. game brought students together on campus.

At a recent eSports tournament on campus, Charles Kmiec ’19, a computer engineering major, was busy coordinating brackets and tournament logistics. A co-organizer of the tournament featuring the popular Super Smash Bros. game, Kmiec says that eSports are up and coming, and they’re gaining attention from current and prospective students.

"Events like this tournament show that the University is willing to take eSports seriously," Kmiec said. "Students want opportunities to participate in eSports, and these opportunities can also be a draw for students considering coming to the University."

Kmiec started the University’s eSports organization, which became a ChargerREC club sport last year. It brings gamers and eSports fans together for competitive gaming, meetings, and giveaways. Teams play popular games, such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm.

"Anyone can want to play football, but not everyone can actually play. There are no such limitations with eSports."AJ Grondalski ’19

AJ Grondalski ’19, a forensic science major, became interested in eSports when he was in high school. He especially enjoyed League of Legends, and he is excited that eSports – an industry expected to eclipse $1 billion in 2019 – are gaining interest with the media, and with students.

"Anyone can want to play football, but not everyone can actually play," said Grondalski. "There are no such limitations with eSports."

Indeed, inclusivity is something that many students cite as an appeal of eSports. Some students are planning to participate in larger eSports events in the state later in the semester. For now, they are trying to bring as much awareness to eSports at the University as they can.

In spring 2018, the University offered the first class in the United States that focuses on the business side of eSports. Taught by Gil Fried, professor and chair of the University’s Sport Management Department, the course was a collaboration between the College of Business and the International eSports Federation.

"When a team comes together, something amazing happens. I saw that at this tournament."Sal Delcollo ’19

Sal Delcollo ’19, a computer engineering major, says the tournament was a great way to reach more students.

"I like how everyone comes together on eSports teams," said Delcollo. "When a team comes together, something amazing happens. I saw that at this tournament."