3 min read

Sports require hand-eye coordination whether you are on or off the field. In the world of esports that coordination can be acquired through the comfort of a living room couch. Once brothers of Lambda Chi learned their longtime hobby of gaming was a connection point, they invited the campus to join.

Since Eric Knouse’ first year of attending Simpson College, whispers of a gaming club filled the corners of campus. Without knowing who was interested and where to start, the idea faded into the wind until brothers of Theta-Lambda Zeta began playing with one another in their free time. Eventually, it grew into an esports club for the entire campus to enjoy.

The founding president Sherwin Lacsa (’19, Theta-Lambda) enlisted the help of the current president, Erik Knouse, to determine an agenda for the club. Along with brothers Jacob Kuehl, Seth Larson, Paul Hyatt, Erick Hernandez and Daniel Xu (’19 Theta-Lambda), the group was dedicated to creating a safe space for gamers to enjoy community with one another.

“This is a way for students to get together and play online games competitively. The people who are in this club are actively looking to compete, they are very passionate about what they do. It’s very easy when something doesn’t go quite right to get upset about it. I wanted to make it so that the environment was a supportive one” Knouse explains.

For Sherwin Lacsa (’19, Theta-Lambda), the main goal to finally introduce the club to campus and get others excited about the possibility of going to tournaments in the upcoming years. Now that Knouse has taken on the role of president, he hopes to continue that legacy starting with the way players interact with one another.

Simpson College esports club members split into teams to prepare for tournaments in the coming year.

“Esports in general is a very big opportunity for growth, community and friendship. Reflecting that into the brotherhood is very important to communicate properly. Being able to build a better community and foundation for relationships is why it’s so cool we have so many of our brothers getting involved” says Seth Larson, founding member.

As Lacsa began creating his dream team of founding members, he realized that each of his top choices were Lambda Chi brothers. Working alongside one another nearly felt like a fraternity event until more individuals around campus joined. Knouse explains that, since they knew each other personally, inviting others to join was never a problem. They had already developed a friendship which made it easier to make others feel welcome in a new space.

Larson explains further by mentioning what type of people will benefit from joining,“Esports is good for anyone who is looking for a competitively driven or solid community to base themselves in.”

In terms of the validity of esports, Larson explains that it is not just a group of people playing games together. The industry is growing and even inviting students to get collegiate education or scholarship for their proficiently in gaming. Nearly 380 million individuals tuned in to watch esports tournaments in 2018, that statistic is expected to grow to 557 million viewers by the year 2021.

With its massive growth in the last year alone, esports members of Simpson College are looking toward the possibilities that the future can bring.

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