What started as a joke between two friends has become one of the fastest-growing communities on campus, with 64 people attending the eSports at LSU club’s first general meeting this semester.

When coastal environmental science senior Johnathon Angers had one of his friends jokingly tell everyone he would host a League of Legends viewing party, he began thinking about the state of the University’s video game community.

“It made me think about what I could do to be involved in this community,” Angers said.

By reviving the eSports at LSU club, Angers’ goal is to provide students with an inclusive community where competitive and casual gamers from all gaming communities can socialize with each other.

The first step was to bring together the two biggest gaming communities at the University — League of Legends at LSU and the Smash Club at LSU.

“It started off as being an umbrella club for these games, but it’s become its own thing,” Angers said. “Initially, there were only clubs for League of Legends and Smash Club, so we’re becoming the epicenter for all these other games.”

This structure allows for the executive board to handle logistics, like reserving rooms on campus for gaming events, coordinating events and obtaining sponsorships, while letting team captains handle the competitive side.

In its three-month lifespan, eSports at LSU has expanded its gaming communities to include multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) like Dota 2, Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends, shooters Overwatch and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, fighting game Super Smash Bros. and card game Hearthstone, among others.

“Right now, we’re just trying to branch the club out and become more inclusive,” Angers said.

To achieve this, the group is looking to expand into any games students are interested in creating a community for. The wish list includes fighting games, sports games and Rocket League.

With plans to have crossover events with the University of Texas and the University of Georgia, eSports at LSU is also looking to expand its influence into the growing college eSports scene. The group also plans to compete in more collegiate leagues, as it did during its recent League of Legends victory over the University of Delaware.

However, the focus is not solely on competitive gaming. Most games have weekly events, which include casual, friendly games, and anyone is encouraged to hang out in their Discord chatroom to play in pickup games, which happen most nights.

Along with weekly events planned by each gaming community, eSports at LSU will have general meetings every month and look to organize more in-person events on campus, offering a variety of activities like LAN events and viewing parties.

The second general meeting is Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. in room 1620 of the Business Education Complex.

“Don’t be afraid to come out to the meetings. Everyone is open to new members, even if we don’t currently sponsor a game you play,” Angers said.

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