By Don Perez / The Union
At times the El Camino Esports Club meetings can be like a raucous herd of cats.
A dozen and one discussions on “League of Legends,” how best to counter Lucio or Tracer in “Overwatch,” an impromptu match on laptops or even trash talk between members — but it all falls silent when tournament or play times for the group’s teams come up.
With the club fielding two teams for both games and a growing reputation in “Overwatch” — last semester the club participated in a playoff match against UCLA — the competitive part of the club brings both the serious business and the fun together.
“I hope to get as big as (UC Irvine) where we can involve the college a little bit more,” Anthony Attalla, club president, said
He added that getting sponsorships for the team would be another goal.
In its third semester of existence, the club has grown with a large contingent around its tent during Club Rush week at the beginning of the semester and sometimes has as many as 50 people at their meetings.
The meetings usually kick off with clips of members’ highlights from games, news of upcoming patches and their effects on game play, then they finish with interactive activities with the group like playing “The Price is Right” on guessing the prices of gaming trinkets, all for raffle tickets.
The tickets can be used down the semester when headsets, gaming mice or other gear might be up for grabs.
Along with “League of Legends” (LoL) and “Overwatch,” the club also has members who play “Hearthstone,” “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” and a few other titles.
Arthur Salazar, club vice president, said members recently attended — as spectators — a LoL championship series match in Los Angeles.
Members said there’s a special quality about playing with people you know on a LoL team rather than random people from across the country.
“I don’t like playing against people I know because when you’re wrecking them — it’s kind of sad — but it’s fun when they’re your teammates,” said Elise Allison, a graphic art and design major who has been with the club for two semesters, and specializes in assassin roles with champions like Ahri in LoL.
“Yeah,” Alex Dominguez, who is the club historian and prefers playing the middle with Lux in LoL, said. “If you mess up, people are not as salty because they’re your friends.”
The club is still open for more members and Salazar said the team is looking for more players to participate in weekend LoL sessions.
It’s not all nerds and video games though.
Salazar added the club does outdoor activities including pickup basketball, soccer and the group even went hiking on the California coast during spring break.
Allison, who is one of the few women in the club, said it’s like hanging around with a group of brothers.
“Other girls might be intimidated. . . (but) I do wish there were more girls,” she said.
The Esports club meets Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in Art Building 103. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the team’s Discord site, discord.gg/MGU4WfE, for more information.
Article published in The Union on May 23, 2017.
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Photo and video by Don Perez.