Young program secures national respect for chance to go to nationals
Thirteen shooting for one.
In a sport where hundreds of teams put their skills to the test on the collegiate level, the Grand Canyon University Co-ed Club eSports program has secured a No. 13 ranking in the nation for the multi-player, first-person shooter game “Overwatch.” If the team stays ranked in the top 30 by February, they’ll have the opportunity to compete in nationals.
The program is still new to the Lopes family, but that hasn’t stopped them from trending in the right direction. The team competes in a collegiate league that consists of 35 schools within their respective region.
What does an eSports competitive match look like?
“Tons of communication between players who are constantly building strategies,” said Lopes’ Assistant Coach Preston Eder. “Our team is comprised of six starters and two alternates, and with three types of game modes available, a match lasts an hour long.”
Eder was ecstatic about the team’s national ranking. However, “Overwatch” is only one of five major games the program competes in. With the other four platforms being “Counter Strike Go,” “League of Legends,” “Rocket League,” and “Hearthstone,” the program is committed to growing on all fronts.
“Right now, we’re recruiting at local high schools, and any events with discover is a good opportunity,” said Eder. “We’re at the point where we won’t turn anyone away. If you want to play competitively, we’ll make a team for you.”
The eSports team practices three nights per week to hone their gaming skills in Thunder Alley. Matches are continually scheduled throughout the year against other schools within the region. Those interested in joining are encouraged to reach out to Lopes’ Head Coach Chris Unquera (Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org) or Preston Eder (Peder@my.gcu.edu).