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GCC hopes to launch internet gaming team in January


December 23, 2017

IRONWOOD — Gogebic Community College is introducing a new sports team to campus.

The Gogebic Samsons eSports Team, or online video gaming team, will compete against other accredited college teams throughout North America.

The Collegiate Star League is an intercollegiate gaming league open to all accredited colleges and universities in North America, according to Jim Halverson, computer and business faculty member, and team advisor.

“Collegiate eSports came into existence around 2009 with a few schools playing one game casually and has now exploded to 900 schools from across the U.S. and Canada competing in nine different games,” Halverson said.

GCC plans to have one or two teams of five players each and two alternates. Teams will include a coordinator who must be a student and a minimum of five different players. GCC will recruit and try out players beginning in January 2018 in a round robin three-on-three tournament, identifying the top players.

Each player must be enrolled as a full time student and in good academic standing to be eligible for the team. Halverson said, “You can’t be a gamer at GCC if you aren’t in good academic standing.”

Initially, the team will scrimmage with other college teams and with an eye on participating in the spring tournament, if the team is organized in time for the start. That tournament runs from Jan. 13 through March 3. The CSL has fall, spring and summer tournaments that consist of weekly matches within the league.

The team will compete in two games: Counter Strike-Global Offensive and League of Legends.

The CSL has two divisions: Division 1 for the college’s main competitive team and Division 2 for the college’s casual teams. GCC will compete against both major universities and other two-year colleges.

“The plan is to play Division 2 during the spring semester casually, and in the fall, play Division 1 competitively,” said Halverson.

Room A-211 in the Rutger Erickson Academic Building is the possible location for the eSports Arena.

“This room offers the opportunity to make eSports a spectator sport with its seating and big projection screen,” said Halverson.

The arena will contain six high-end performance gaming computers and monitors with a high-speed internet connection. Students will provide their own keyboard, mouse and gaming headset based on personal preference.

—Ian Minielly


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