The University of New Orleans eSports team earned first-place in three events during the Spring 2022 State Intramural Tournament and Conference held at Northwestern State University in April.
Four UNO teams competed in the eSports discipline at the state tournament, which also included competitions for soccer, slow-pitch softball and basketball.
UNO launched its eSports program in October with the opening of a new on-campus eSports Café that features an array of PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles. The Café is located in the Recreation & Fitness Center and serves as a hub for both recreational and competitive gamers.
eSports is an overarching word similar to track & field, said Bryan Marquez, UNO’s eSports head coach. Where track & field have meets with multiple events, eSports competitions have various games to play.
At the state tournament, UNO had teams for Valorant, a first-person tactical shooting game; League of Legends, a team-based strategy game with the objective of capturing the opponents base; Rocket League, a high-powered hybrid of arcade-style soccer and vehicular mayhem game, and Smash Bros Ultimate, a king of the hill style-fighting game featuring characters from Nintendo games and other third-party franchises.
“We were excited to have those four teams because our program started in October,” said Marquez. “In less than a year, the students have done a great job building out teams to prepare those four teams for competition in this tournament. We also have a few more teams in the works.”
The teams that won were Valorant, Rocket League and League of Legends, Marquez said.
The Valorant team played a best-of-three series, the Rocket League team played a best-of-five series and the League of Legends team played a best-of-three series.
Marquez said eSports is not just about competing or playing video games.
“We host workshops and game showcases and we have plenty of events we are planning for next year,” Marquez said.
The Café and program are open to all UNO students and Marquez encourages anyone who is interested to just stop in.
“New Orleans eSports is open to all UNO students, and we welcome all, whether you play games or are interested in just hanging out. There is a place for everyone in our gaming/eSports community,” Marquez said. “If you enjoy competitions, we are here for you. If you want to get a quick game in and relax, you are welcome here.
“If you need help navigating student life at UNO, looking for a place to gain experience, network or connect with students on campus, you have a home at New Orleans eSports.”