Esports student club gains space in Johnson Gym expansion

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The University of New Mexico Esports Club recently expanded in both its physical space and online presence after receiving a gaming room in the new Johnson Center. The two-year-old club was designed to be a fun and safe place for friends to play video games on a competitive level. 

With the recent remodel of the Johnson Center, the UNM Esports Club will receive a gaming space once construction is complete. The room will serve as a space for players and club members to congregate. Computers for people to play video games as well as engage in other club activities will also be available.

Tyler Vencil, a UNM junior studying computer science, joined the esports club right around the time the club was first formed. League of Legends is his game of choice for competitive play and the reason he joined the student club.

League of Legends is an online multiplayer game where you assume the role of characters to battle against other online players as well as computer-generated players.

“We have varsity level teams for League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League and Hearthstone right now that all compete in collegiate events and tournaments,” Vencil said.

Vencil said one of the future goals for the club is to add a team for Rainbow Six Siege. The club is currently developing the team and should be debuting soon. The esports club is also working on recruiting content creators to stream on their Twitch channel.

“For that, we are just looking for people who are interested in streaming on our platform, whatever they are interested in playing,” Vencil said.

For the esports club, that means gaining a wider audience as well as appealing to those who may not be interested in the competitive side of gaming.

Their Twitch channel gives the club a chance to get members involved with gaming and allows a platform to interact with viewers. The esports club is also looking for graphic designers and photographers to help grow their image and improve their branding. They want to make sure they can reach as much of the gaming community at UNM as possible. 

“Ultimately, we would like to see our varsity teams taking home national championships and for the club to have a sense of infrastructure so it can be sustained long-term,” Vencil said.

The club is designed to give members a community on campus and for them to play the games that they enjoy. Overall, the esports club wants to create a safe and inviting space for gamers to engage with each other.

“One of our major short-term goals is to be able to provide scholarships to our varsity players, which will not only reward players for their time and effort that they put in but will also allow us to entice more talented players here,” Vencil said.

More information can be found on their website or social media @unmesports.

Caitlin Scott is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at culture@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @Caitlin69123118

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