By Hope Smith, Matt Seger, Janie Hodny & Morgan Andrews
The University of Wisconsin- Green Bay’s (UWGB) Good Times Programming (GTP) hosted an Esports Tournament and Game Night in the University Union Esports Lounge (109b) on Tuesday, November 3. Students can test out the Esports lounge by playing games regularly and participating in Esports Tournaments and Game Nights.
Esports is a form of competitive organized video gaming. They are multiplayer games, particularly between professional players that are competitive or non-competitive. According to wyomingsoccer.com, the benefits of Esports include improved hand-eye coordination, improved attention and visual acuity, problem-solving and strategy development skills, and boosts self-confidence and player socialization.
In the Phoenix Club in the Esports Lounge, computers have pre-loaded games that students can play free of charge, including:
League of Legends
Call of Duty: Warzone
Three computers on the far-right side of the lounge offer indie games such as Wizard 101, RuneScape, and Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe.
Students need to first register their student information in the Phoenix Lounge before playing Esports games; registration takes less than 30 seconds. Starting its construction almost two years ago, the Esports lounge in the Phoenix Club has now become a part of the campus. This addition to the Phoenix Club is open from Sunday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Many may consider gaming as a secluded activity that people take part in from their homes, but for Nick Walecka and Tanner Smith, students of UWGB, it’s become a community. A place to belong.
“I’m here 5 days a week when I don’t have any homework,” says Tanner Smith. “I’m on the Esports League of Legends Team. I’ve been striving to get better by playing with friends and my teammates. I love its playstyle and how it’s a team sport with everything happening on the spot,” Tanner Smith adds.
The Esports lounge is not only a place for competitive gamers but a place to share a gaming passion and meet others with similar interests.
“We actually met and became friends by sitting down next to one another and playing games.” says Nick Walecka, “We’ve met more than a handful of friends being a part of this lounge. I’m also a part of the anime club as well here, which a lot of people don’t know it’s a thing.”
The night was listed as an Esports Tournament night by fliers around the campus, but the experience was much different than what was stated. “It’s not really a tournament. It’s more of an open game night for students,” says Mack King, Esports Student Co-manager. “The most competitive event we usually hold is Smash Saturdays, where students come to the Phoenix Lounge to play Super Smash Bros on the Nintendo Switch consoles and TVs,” King adds.
The Esports event night was more of a place for students to gather and get to know fellow gamers. Approximately 20 students took advantage of the power of the 13 PCs in the lounge to play games that wouldn’t normally work or play as well on their school laptops. The Phoenix Club also provided free pizza to all students if they swiped their school ID.
The Esports lounge is still a new concept and addition to the UWGB campus, with interest growing among students every day. With the current popularity of video games these days, UWGB members are anticipating what this lounge will continue to offer the UWGB campus and students.