Campus wide, Student Life, Student Stories

Esports emerging at CSU

By Christopher Makowski | June 19, 2020

Esports is a growing phenomenon in our society, and Charleston Southern University is jumping onto the bandwagon by providing more esports options; such as Fortnite, Madden, NBA 2K and Rocket League.

Esports at CSU
Drake Jenkins, left, and Shawn Stone, right, won the Madden 20 Tournament held by Campus Recreation. Along with bragging rights, they also won a copy of the game and a t-shirt. Photo courtesy of Campus Recreation

What started as a couple of small tournaments in NBA 2k and Madden has turned into a full-on push to create a full college esports experience.

“Esports would allow for more students that might not have come here, to actually come here and thrive,” said Dakota Snyder, who is the CSU Esports coordinator. “It would give students another thing to cheer for.”

Despite Snyder’s positive endorsement, the process is easier said than done, according to Drew Meadows, the assistant dean for student life. He explained that there are a lot of things that need to be done before CSU has a full esports program.

“Right now, we are in the early stages, so we need to be smart about how we progress through the next few stages. For example, we just got done giving out a survey to students regarding esports. Through that survey we were able to gather a lot of great data that we can take and do something with,” said Meadows, who also runs the Campus Recreation Department.

Furthermore, though they are in the beginning stages at CSU, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the emergence of esports among students.

“Every time I get home from class, I jump onto my PS4 and play either Fortnite or Call of Duty; so, the fact that CSU is thinking about adding esports teams in the future is something that intrigues me, and I am sure it will intrigue a whole lot of upcoming students in the future,” said senior Brandon Joplin.

In spring semester, Campus Recreation offered tournaments in the Brewer Center and online through an app called Mission Control. The games played ranged from sports to battle royale.

Snyder added that, while there could be a future for esports at CSU, there has to be a middle ground between the promotion of this technology-driven competition and the values of the institution.

“The goal for esports is to have a fully functioning team. I believe the goals for everyone involved is to have teams in the most popular games and create another platform to spread the message of God,” Snyder said.

Christopher Makowski graduated in May 2020 from CSU with a degree in communication studies.

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