Boise State’s eSports launch party was a hoot last night (10-3-2017). The goal must have been “go big or go home” because everything was extreme.
It was big. And they’re already thinking about doing it bigger next year—in Taco Bell Arena.
Four or five hundred students crowded into the student union’s ballroom to meet the university’s varsity team for intercollegiate competition in eSports.
The room was dark, except in front where three enormous screens lit half of the room. In front of the screens was an elevated podium where the two League of Legends teams faced the audience. Three play-by-play casters sat on the side.
Somewhere in the pre-game darkness, someone played music loud enough to make the walls vibrate.
In the back of the game cave, party-goers were treated to an endless supply of nutrition common to all-night gamers–popcorn (3 flavors), cookies (4 kinds), iced cans of Monster energy drinks, and a veritable buffet of Coke products. Monster and Coke are team sponsors.
Esports directors Chris Haskell and Brett Shelton, both faculty members in the EdTech Department, introduced the cool new game jerseys which got a great response from the crowd. Shelton noted that these jerseys feature both the Fierce Bronco head AND the academic B logo. This is the first time the university has allowed the two symbols to appear together.
Shelton also got the crowd going when he announced plans for an enormous game center on the second floor of Albertson Library. Teams would practice there and the crowd cheered when he said non-varsity players could use it, too.
Boise State teams will compete in Overwatch, Rocket League, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, and League of Legends. The spotlight last night was on the League of Legends.
Haskell told the crowd that Boise State’s Maggie Borland is the first female team captain in all of eSports. She leads the Overwatch team, which has been invited to play at DreamHack in Denver later this month. DreamHack is one of the largest video game and eSports events in the country. The Boise State team will battle Utah in front of an estimated 40,000 viewers.