Concordia Esports aims to start intramural league

League of Legends
Archive graphic by Zeze Le Lin.

League of Legends will be the first game available for casual gamers

The Concordia Esports Association (CESA) wants to expand from its competitive teams and organize an intramural league for students. President Dimitri Kontogiannos said the club is looking for people to play League of Legends in a fun, non-competitive environment.

”We’ve seen there are a lot of students that want to play in Concordia Esports organized events, but we’ve only really had a competitive team before,” Kontogiannos said. “So there was a lack of structured events for people who are a lower caliber or just don’t want to play on the competitive team.”

Kontogiannos said CESA is starting with League of Legends as its inaugural intramural game because it has the biggest following on campus. Games will be on Friday nights and players can sign up either as an individual and be put in a team, or a team can sign up together. Although the club will start with one game, they hope to expand to Overwatch and Super Smash Bros in the future.

The intramural league will be organized independently from Concordia, unlike its intramural leagues with traditional sports such as hockey, soccer, and basketball. Despite this, Stingers athletic director D’Arcy Ryan believes there’s room for growth for Esports at Concordia.

“Montreal is a hotbed of talent in the gaming industry because of some of the big companies like Ubisoft and CGI,” Ryan said. “We have the academic talent with programmers in the engineering faculty, so I think there’s a great potential for a partnership between the academic and recreational side to promote the gaming market.”

Kontogiannos has also seen Esports grow at the university level across the country. “All schools see the popularity and growth of Esports,” he said. “There’s significant interest in Canadian schools. At Concordia, [it’s] because of inclusiveness, and they use sport as a means to attract new students.”

Through the intramural league, CESA wants to introduce students, particularly first-years, to other students that share their passion. First-year students can focus too much on video games, according to League of Legends team manager Guillaume Bélisle.

“They play too many video games in the first year and then crash and burn [mentally],” Bélisle said in an interview with The Concordian in September. “Then in the second and third year, they will focus more on their studies. It’s all about balance.”

“In my first semester, this is the way I met people at the school,” Kontogiannos added. “I didn’t have many friends coming from Dawson to my program, so to find new people was one of the catalysts as to why I joined [CESA].”

Kontogiannos also believes video games play an important role in integrating new students from abroad. “[League of Legends] transcends countries,” he said. “It’s not just in North America that people play it, but also in Europe, in Asia, and even the Oceanic region. It’s a game the school can really benefit from by having organized activities around it.”

The president also wants to use the intramural league to potentially recruit players for their competitive team. “We just want people to have fun,” he said. “But it always ends up with us looking at new talent that’s popping up around Concordia, or seeing talented players that we didn’t have the chance to see before.”

Still, Kontogiannos wants the players to enjoy it. “I hope there are some good games. I know non-competitive players tend to stray out of the competitive strategies, so it’s a whole new game.”

To sign up for the intramural league, you can visit CESA’s Facebook page.

Archive graphic by Zeze Le Lin.

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