A growing scene of competitive gaming, also known as “esports”, is slowly becoming more common as people of all ages are plugging in and training for competitions, and a shot for fame.
Before, Fullerton College had two collegiate teams (Fullerton College Team A and B) for the multiplayer online battle arena, or MOBA, who competed for the title “League of Legends.”
It was constructed by the Fullerton College Gamer Association, which allowed gifted FC players to go up against multiple colleges and prestigious universities nationwide, while even competing against neighbors at Cal State Fullerton.
After a short run in the IvyLOL Collegiate Series, the teams were out of contention for winning the tournament and quickly disbanded after its brief stint.
“I met so many other students that shared the same passion for gaming,” said Brian Fang, a player for the disbanded League of Legends team, “playing games for our school is just like playing in any other kind of sport for our school… [and] I would do this for any school if I had the chance.”
Currently, there aren’t any other esport teams on campus, but students like Chaz Williams, James Colon and James Sun want to bring it back.
The group of gamers play the game “Super Smash Brothers Melee”, which is a fighting game as opposed to a MOBA.
They seek to recruit people for this club that extends further than just their favorite fighting game. Instead, they seek to form a club that unifies players that enjoy the competitive gaming scene on campus into an esports club.
With the three constantly competing in tournaments all across Orange County, they want to have an organization to represent them.
“I’ve seen Cal State [Fullerton] have their own niche gaming clubs that they represent throughout most tournaments that even I participate in, so we thought why shouldn’t we do the same?” Colon said.
With universities like UC Irvine having a dedicated esports arena on their campus since late 2016, gaming enthusiasts on campus question where can they play themselves.
“As an Overwatch player, I’d like to meet up and socialize with our school’s players and try to compete in a game I really enjoy playing, but I just don’t know where to go on campus,” Phuc Nguyen said, who’s a computer science major.
Students who want to play with others currently gather in the Student Center, where gamers have laptops lined up on every open table space they can find.
Though students make use of their laptops that they use in class, others bring whole TVs over.
At the moment, Williams carries his 30-inch, 12 year old Panasonic CRT TV along with a Nintendo Gamecube and controllers in his backpack from the parking lot behind Sherbeck Field all the way to the Student Center every Tuesday and Thursday.
“It’s definitely a good workout to walk it all the way from my car,” Williams explains about the difficulty of carrying an old TV to play Melee, “but it’s worth it since I get to play with others that can help train me to play so much better at local tournaments.”
With more colleges and universities nationwide rapidly gathering an esports scene, the campus has yet to form one.
However, with people’s rising interests of competitive gaming and a multitude of titles considered competitive, Williams, Sun and Colon want to be at the forefront of reawakening and reforming an esports club at FC.