Esports program lands new gaming space for 180+ members
A new group of competitors on campus are growing at a feverish pace. Founded officially in the fall of 2022, the Corsair Esports teams have amassed more than 180 current students and 40 alumni in one year. Now thanks to an impactful investment from corporate partner CDW, the group is ready to take the next step.
New facility, technology, and gear
This fall, the group opened the doors to their new home in the lower level of the Claire T. Carney Library. CDW supplied nearly $40,000 worth of equipment, funding 11 new gaming stations each equipped with Spectrum sit-to-stand desks, Genova gaming chairs, Lenovo computer systems and monitors, Logitech headsets, keyboards, and mice, and a Spectrum Shoutcaster double station (broadcast booth for commentary).
"With this newly built gaming lab we're calling 'The Esports Resort,' we are expanding our horizons for students within the organization and plan to make a name for ourselves among those wishing to pursue Esports," said Corsair Esports Founder and President, Christian Augat. "With this new space, our club will not only build fundamental skills like teamwork, strategic thinking, and decisive actions, but we'll also help point fellow students in the direction they want to take in the future!"
Up to this point, the club had only been playing out of their own respective residences, on their own devices, communicating virtually via Discord. This fall semester, the team will get exclusive access to the new space which is planned to open to all students at a later point in time.
"I think this space is going to bring the team to the next level in competition," said Tim Murphy, Esports coach and marketing CRM specialist at UMassD. "It can't be overstated how the face-to-face connection and quality equipment will benefit these teams as they work and grow together."
Gaming at UMassD
The new space is the latest way UMassD has embraced the gaming industry, which Fortune Business Insights says has a market size of $199.74 billion, projected to grow by another $100B by the end of the decade.
UMassD students passionate about the gaming industry can major in computer science with a computer game design concentration in the College of Engineering, or major (and minor) in animation and game arts in the College of Visual & Performing Arts.
Leadership lessons in Esports
With various teams inside the Esports umbrella, students also have plentiful opportunities to develop leadership experience in a field they enjoy.
"As a human resources management major, leading the organization encompasses a lot of skills in my field," said Augat. "It requires organization and planning, recruiting, and occasional conflict management. I've developed real experience in management, marketing, and operations that I otherwise would have never had. This will for sure help prepare me for the type of career I hope to have after graduation.
"We're just getting started, and we'd love to grow into other games. If anyone wants to lead, bring us a game you're passionate about, recruit a couple other players, and volunteer to be the team's captain."
Corsair Esports FAQs
Curious about joining the Esports Team? Team captains have answered some common FAQs below.
What's the difference between Esports and playing video games?
"A video game becomes an Esport when it's played competitively, live in an organized league between two organizations (at the collegiate level: universities). Games are often streamed for viewers, which has an international audience bigger than the Major League Baseball's."
What games do you play?
"We currently have large teams for Overwatch, League of Legends, CS GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), Splatoon, and Valorant, and small teams for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros., and Apex Legends.
"We're not limited to these by any means. To add a sport, all you need is a group of interested parties and someone designated to lead the team. Once this has been done, the designated leader will be interviewed by the administrators of the organization to make sure they're a good fit."
Where do you compete?
"We look for collegiate tournaments that pop up from a variety of organizations and enter them. Each game has its own specific schedule, typically with large annual tournaments and smaller competitions throughout the year. Some games are just looking for one user at a time, others are team vs. team. In downtime, we hold scrimmages against each other."
What system(s) do you play on?
"Right now, we're accepting PC, consoles (Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch), and mobile devices. We plan on trying to connect consoles through PCs, which is easier than navigating different platforms, better for streaming, and they can plug into ethernet for more stable connection."
Can I use my own equipment?
"Our new space has everything you need, so there's no need to. But we know that everyone has their own preferred setup. If you're really particular about having a specific piece of equipment (ex: tilted keyboard or high-sensitivity mouse), you're welcome to bring it with you."
Who can join?
"UMassD students of any year, major, skill level, or experience. Full-time and part-time, undergraduate, and graduate students are all welcome. We even have about 40 alumni that practice and play in exhibitions with us.
"To play competitively, you must be a current UMassD student with a minimum 2.0 grade point average. You must also be a respectful, loyal team member if part of a team. A full list of requirements is displayed in our #rules channel on Discord."
Who plays competitively?
"Each game has a team coordinator who manages A and B teams (like Varsity and Junior Varsity). If you are not on a team, you may ask a team coordinator to try out for one. Some solo games have an appointed game coordinator to organize tournaments and scrimmages, same as team games. Others are completely independent, and players can enter their own tournament however they'd like."
What's the time commitment like?
"As much or as little as you want, as long as it's within healthy terms and doesn't get in the way of your education. You can be loosely affiliated and play a couple hours a week or dedicate a lot of time to the game and your team. Like all of college, your experience is what you make of it."
Are there any fees to join? To play in tournaments?
"Our organization is free to join, the gaming space is free to use, and most of the games we play are free to download—and each game we play will be downloaded onto all the computers within the gaming space. Some tournaments have an entry fee, but it typically isn't much when divided between all the members of a team. All you need is an account to play on."
How do I join?
"Anyone interested can join our Discord server and get ready for fun times and memories to remember."