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Mount launches e-sports program

E-sports is giving Mount students another form of competition, with hopes of competing with external teams in the future

November 29, 2021

The e-sports lounge takes what is often a solitary activity and creates a way for students to interact with oner another while engaging in some friendly competition
The e-sports lounge takes what is often a solitary activity and creates a way for students to interact with oner another while engaging in some friendly competition

Students at the Mount who love video games have a new place to play, with the debut this semester of an e-sports lounge in the Wellness Building.  The lounge comes courtesy of a new e-sports program that will one day give students a chance to compete against other schools.

“In the spring semester, we’ll focus on identifying students who are interested in being on a team,” says Mark Spellmire, director of sports and wellness at the Mount. “Then, hopefully, next academic year we can start to bring in tournaments or games with other universities.” 

In addition to these PCs, the lounge features PlayStation, Switch and Wii consoles, and a 75-inch TV screen
In addition to these PCs, the lounge features PlayStation, Switch and Wii consoles, and a 75-inch TV screen

E-sports provide a way for gamers — who tend to spend hours playing solo on their own equipment — to link up with like-minded people. That’s what happened to Kayla Ravancho ’23, a nursing student who now serves as the Mount’s student e-sports manager, promoting the lounge, helping with on-campus tournaments and gathering feedback from students. Playing at home during the pandemic shutdown, she connected online with many friendly gamers.

“I thought, maybe others who are always alone in their rooms could meet other new people, too,” says Ravancho, explaining why she took on the management job. “I could be an advocate for them.”

So far, the lounge has met that goal, attracting students to play games such as Dota 2, League of Legends and Call of Duty in groups. “It’s always four or five people that come at a time,” Spellmire says. “It shows me that they’re curious, and they want to bring somebody else to play with.”

The lounge features PlayStation, Switch and Wii consoles, a 75-inch TV screen and several PCs.

To adhere to COVID-19 protocols, events such as Just Dance and team competitions for the Super Smash tournament were held on a large, blowup movie screen in the student lounge
To adhere to COVID-19 protocols, events such as Just Dance and team competitions for the Super Smash tournament were held on a large, blowup movie screen in the student lounge

The e-sports program had held several on-campus tournaments, letting players form teams in advance or on the spot. To accommodate spectators while observing COVID-19 protocols, the program held the two events — one for Mario Kart and one for Super Smash Bros. — outdoors, with the action displayed on a blow-up movie screen.

A future Mount Saint Mary’s team could compete in tournaments in the Los Angeles region or, if players competed online, anywhere in the world. “

We could play against a team in New York right now,” Spellmire says. “We’d just all log on at the same time.”