Esports practice room

The end of 2020 is a monumental moment in the world of gaming. With the new Xbox and the PS5 being released later this month and new games right around the corner. Here on campus, the Missouri Western esports team has been busy getting dubs left and right in multiple scrimmages, as well as overseeing the construction of the esports stadium.

Darrin Brinks is a computer science major, as well as a Twitch streamer @scorcheddarrin, and a member of the newly formed Valorant club. Brinks told how despite the team not making it to the finals in the Valorant tournament they played really well.

“They are always improving and they're always doing these smaller activities that can bring them closer. I choose to think that that helps some play together as a team,” Brinks said. “So coming together with others, teamwork, and all this effort. It's really good. We've definitely made a bigger improvement from the start of Esports at the beginning of the semester, and it's only getting bigger.”

One large project the esports program has tackled this semester has been the work on the stadium located in Blum where the bookstore was previously held. Students walking by can already see a sneak peek of the sleek paint job.

Christian Konczal is the director of the esports program and has been overseeing the setup of the stadium. Konczal said they have big plans for the stadium next semester.

“Long story short, our computer vendor was not able to give us the equipment we needed. So we pushed the opening back and that actually gave us the opportunity to improve the computers we were going to be putting in the arena which is going to be huge for our program,” Konczal said. “We'll have a soft opening at the start of the next semester, but we will have a grand opening event around Feb. 25. We're gonna pull out all the stops.”

Konczal and Brinks both stressed the importance the esports program puts into making it a community where anyone feels welcome. Konczal plans on putting the stadium to full use with multiple events every semester. These will be things such as Call of Duty tournaments and similar events with them all being open for any students to participate.

The first semester of esports has been described as a learning experience for students and the program alike. Konczal went on to explain the team's progress in the semester so far.

“Our teams have been consistently punching above their weight class which has been really awesome. Rocket League in particular are mostly undefeated when it comes to actual matches. Overwatch has been doing really well and so has the League of legends team,” Konczal said. “Fortnite has been participating in a play versus all league unfortunately it's kind of the weirdest one to give a good answer to because they're matched against 30 other people at once.”

Overall, the esports program has proved its success with its student following increasing as time goes on. Esports also offers many opportunities for outside students to be involved with a twitch channel @Griffon_Esports and a Discord. Konczal also encourages students to email him with any potential ideas of a name for the new stadium at ckonczal@missouriwestern.edu.

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