DADE CITY, Fla. – The players wear jerseys. They practice hard for hours at a time. They learn to work as a team.
What You Need To Know
- Saint Leo started it to expand opportunities in technology and team building to its students
- The team is now an official school sponsored club sport
- Team members say it takes dedication to succeed
- More Pasco County headlines
It’s like any sports team you’d see on a school campus. Except this one involves video games.
Saint Leo University just launched an official esports league.
Senior Brandon Tice says it’s like being part of any other school team.
“People see us playing video games and they think it’s all a good time, that it’s not something that’s truly competitive,” Tice said. “The amount of work we put in is the same as any sport.”
He and his 21-member team play in an all new, state of the art esports arena. It was just built on campus.
Twelve gaming stations stream onto four big-screen TVs that eventually an audience can come watch on.
The team competes against other schools across the country, playing games like League of Legends, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros.
“You don’t have to be a 6-5 super athlete to be able to play. It’s all about commitment and work ethic,” Tice said.
The team is now an official school sponsored club sport.
Saint Leo started it to expand opportunities in technology and team building to its students.
“Of course, we want to win games and grow the program,” said esports coach and manager, Joel Madru, a grad student. “But our main concern is making sure students find that sense of team, that sense of want, and develop skills they can take into their future career.”
Esports is rapidly growing across the country. While it might be a relatively new thing on college campuses, it takes the same dedication as traditional sports.
“It’s really a grind and something that really takes a lot of work,” Tice said. “Anything you want to be successful in, you really have to put your mind to it and being successful.”