E-Sports during a semester of COVID-19

Kenzie Clayton, Staff Writer

Many student organizations and sports teams have either had to readjust their plans for the fall semester or temporarily postpone them due to COVID-19. One organization that’s been doing fairly well is the Southern Indiana Esports Association.

 The biggest impact that COVID-19 has had on SIEA is that it will not be hosting any offline events for the foreseeable future as it would be difficult for participants to practice social distancing. The organization was planning their first LAN-a local area network where all the devices are connected to the same router and it would have been one of the bigger events that the club has ever hosted.

When asked about how the organization was doing and how things will be planned going forward, club president Sutton Biddle said, “Right now we are planning to try to move our events online. Our team members have been closely monitoring the COVID dashboard and we thought it would be best to host online events for many reasons. The safety of everyone was the biggest priority, but in the case of a shutdown at the university, we could still run the event if we went online.”

The most popular games for the organization currently are “Valorant”, “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.”Valorant” is a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter game where you can play as various characters that each come with their own unique abilities. “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” is the best-selling fighting game ever. In it, up to eight people can play as well-known Nintendo characters such as Mario, Kirby, Samus, Bayonetta, and Isabelle. There are also third party playable characters in Smash such as Joker, Cloud, Simon, Snake, and Pac-Man. Last but not least is “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout”, which is a fairly new battle royale game in which up to sixty people compete in Wipeout-esque obstacle courses until there is one person remaining. 

In regards to recruiting new members, Biddle said, “As for members, it’s always the hope that we would get more. I do not know exactly what to expect in the new environment we are working in. I think everyone is still trying to get adjusted-”  Biddle also mentioned wanting to start a competitive team at USI regardless of what video game it would be for.