MURRAY (WSIL) — Esports have been gaining in popularity.
It has taken video-gaming to a competitive level. Students with gaming consoles are able to compete in teams online and compete against other schools. While it may not be the same as live sports, one Murray State student says a big win online can feel just as exciting.

“For me I think I would compare it to hitting a home-run or I was never the fastest so for me stealing a base,” said Cole Fletcher. ” Being successful at stealing a base its kind of that adrenaline right there, or making a diving catch.”

Prior to the cornonavirus Murray States’ Esports program was steadily growing climbing from 20 members last spring to 150 members now.
Sitting secretary Cole Fletcher says its not just the competitive factor that drives people to join.

“We have a lot of players that join because they want to make more friends
and that is part of the reason we created the club we wanted a sense of community,” said Fletcher.

A sense of community that Cole says has been important during this time.

“A lot of people use the game server to contact each other to talk about anything from games to just just random components of life.”

Cole says Esports can also help build lifelong communication skills that can be applied outside of just the game.

” Its a very important key component to the game to be successful, so a lot of people that tend to have some communication issues or are socially
awkward. This helps a lot just because you have to communicate what you want how you are feeling and such to be really successful.”

Like many things, Esports are not immune to the effects from the virus. Without being on campus, students don’t have access to
the University gaming room.

“So we actually saw a decrease in activity because a lot of college students were benefiting off the game room they didn’t have the equipment themselves. So we saw a little decrease since some people just don’t have the means to create the machines or get the consoles to play on.

Because of that, the main school league has been cancelled, but students are sill finding a way to stay competitive.

“School groups have actually created online for the timing on their own and those are actually gaining a big attraction.”

In addition to gaming, the club is even trying to organize a virtual graduation for Murray State.

“Two of our staff volunteer for the club actually recently created the CFSB center in Minecraft, with as much details, and are going to try and do a virtual graduation there with as many Murray State seniors as we can get on May 9th at 1 pm Central time.”

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