Game day for the Bobcat Esports Rocket League team

Last Wednesday was game day for the Ohio University Collegiate Esports team.

Located in Scripps Hall, OU’s all-new esports arena ensures online Bobcat athletes are always playing with home-court advantage.

According to Bobcat Esports President Pat Daley, a senior Media Arts and Studies student, the Esports Arena was officially opened on September 12.

“The university approved everything around 2020,” Daley said. “Now that we’re finally online, we have 30 computers in this public space so everyone can come in and participate.”

During the fall semester, the Esports Arena is used collegially for two video games, Valorant (a first-person shooter) and Rocket League, the game played during Wednesday night’s game.

Rocket League is a third-person online game, where participants use a vehicle to play soccer, among other sports1q.

Using boost pads found around the map, competitors can use these sudden boosts to perform aerial tricks, swinging and weaving through the air as they attempt to bury the ball behind the goal of their opponent.

Easier said than done, this level of play is often elusive, and only the best of the best are skilled enough to play competitively.

Players who try out for these college teams go through specialized training programs where their skills are analyzed until select players are chosen to act as the OU’s Rocket League college team.

For these players, 8 p.m. was game time and the team took their places in the specialized college section of the arena, ready for the “kick-off”. Normally the lights dimmed, minimizing glare on computer screens, but due to technical difficulties the lights remained bright, requiring several players to wear hats to combat the fluorescent glow.

Opposite the college section was an announcers’ table, where two commentators positioned opposite a mounted camera gave viewers at home a detailed explanation of the fast-paced action taking place on the screen in front of them.

First, Kent State. The Bobcats won the first game but lost the next three, resulting in a win at Kent State.

Between games, the team’s coaching staff could be seen beyond the camera giving advice to players as games warmed up.

Then, starting at 9 p.m., OU played Northeastern University, but unfortunately that also ended in loss.

Team member Ben Herman, a second-year psychology student, was a bit disappointed with the team’s performance.

“I think we haven’t played our game,” he said.

Due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances, the team did not play out according to Herman.

“If you were to watch last week’s game, we look like a much more confident and energetic team,” Herman said.

Known by the screen name “Disrespect,” Herman said he always downloaded the game, but started taking Rocket League seriously around 2020.

Nodding emphatically, Herman confirmed that it was his favorite game.

When the varsity team doesn’t have games, the arena is open to everyone, said Anthony Frazier, a freshman studying virtual reality and game development as well as business management.

“We’re open Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday we’re open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.,” Frazier said. “All of our equipment is run from one server that hosts all of the games.”

Students have eight hours per week to use the facilities for free and those hours reset on Mondays, according to Frazier.

Although the Esports Arena is closed on Sundays, it is a relaxed environment in which to relax and play video games alone or with a group of friends after a grueling day of classes, especially as the temperature starts to cool. fall.

If one is interested in watching college games, Scripps Hall is still open for in-person viewing or one can tune in every Tuesday and Wednesday to watch this season’s games unfold on Twitch.

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