Winter is chockfull of sports with Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner and March Madness on the horizon, but a there’s a new game in town called E-sports, and Elizabethtown College is the latest university to add it to their roster.
Head Coach Matthew Hamilton has been playing video games for 13 years.
“One thing kind of led to another and now, all of a sudden, we have a team, I’m head coach, and our first match is on January 31,” Hamilton said.
He’s used to different kinds of matches. Hamilton is the head volleyball coach of Elizabethtown’s men’s and women’s teams, but he’s ready to take on the digital world.
“It was really fun kind of building the road map and setting the foundation but very intimidating, a little bit scary as well,” Hamilton said.
There’s nothing scary about it for Derek Bosworth, who is another example that brains and brawn can coexist.
“I’ve been asked to come play video games with people outside of our designated practices, but no one on the track team has ever been like, ‘Hey, wanna go run a 400 on the track,'” said Bosworth, a co-captain on the team and a junior at Elizabethtown.
The team plays League of Legends, a five-on-five battle game.
“It can get intense. Some of us will start yelling at times,” Bosworth said.
“We mostly work on communication and understanding how each other play and fix each other’s weaknesses and support them,” said Ryan Ehmann, a sophomore and co-captain of Elizabethtown E-Sports.
There are doubters who question e-sports’ authenticity.
“There is a little bit of gray area about whether this is a sport or not, and I think that’s yet to be determined, but, you know, we’re going to compete in Landmark Conference against other schools, and we’re certainly going to have fun doing it,” Hamilton said.
Doubt if you want, but this group of guys won’t be bothered.
“We have a lot of commitment to the game. So, if you ask someone to come in and play, they’ll more often than not come in because they want to play,” Bosworth said.
The team believes a “real sport” isn’t about breaking records or a sweat.
“To me, a real sport is more about building a community and family than doing an activity,” Ehmann said.