Meet the faces behind Elizabethtown College’s Newest Sports team
This comes with the Landmark Conference trying new things to help increase involvement.
The College’s newest sport team is practicing for their first ever debut, but you won’t find them in the Thompson Gym or practicing on Wolf field. You’ll find this group of E-town students in Founders B100, glued to almost a dozen Alienware computers. This newest lineup is the E-town eSports team. Started in Nov. 2018, there are already 16 players on its roster and Matthew Hamilton serving as the head coach.
Among the first conference-wide eSports ventures, six of the eight Landmark Conference colleges—Elizabethtown College, Goucher College, Juniata College, Moravian College, Catholic University and Drew University—will compete in a round-robin schedule during the spring 2019 semester. At the end of the season the top four teams will meet at Elizabethtown College for the conference championship on March 29.
Hamilton, also assistant volleyball coach, and Jeffery Long, professor of religion and Asian studies, were those interested in starting an eSports team for the College. They reached out to the College’s League of Legends club, assessing how much interest there was from students who are already familiar with the game.
Shortly after, there were try-outs for the team. In the case of our eSports players, they try-out by playing the game in question on the computer and then get sorted into A, B and C teams based on how well they play the game.
“We don’t cut anybody. If you have played the game, come out for the team. You don’t have to be good or know what you’re doing but if you’re interested you could be put on one of the lower teams,” Derek Bosworth, co-captain, told E-town Now.
The online game of choice for the Landmark Conference is Riot Game’s League of Legends. This game has hundreds of student-run clubs and competitive teams on campuses across the U.S.—as well as at least 70 varsity eSports programs. The basics of the game are to capture and destroy the enemy base’s main crystal (called the Nexus) before they capture and destroy your base’s Nexus. In teams of five the players start at their home base—at one corner of the playing field—and navigate one of three lanes that lead across the map to the opponent’s base—on the opposite corner of the playing field. Each player controls a character, called a champion, and there are over 140 of these characters to choose from. Every champion has their own set of strengths and weaknesses.
“There are different characters you can pick. Some are better at doing damage later on in the game and some are better at doing damage earlier on in the game,” Ryan Ehmann, a co-captain of the e Sports team, shared. “It’s a combination of when you want to fight the other team and when does the other team want to fight you and trying to mitigate your loses while also trying to grow your lead.”
Once the game starts players fend off their opponent’s champions and make their way to the Nexus. Before the Nexus can be destroyed, three smaller structures surrounding it must be destroyed. Before these structures, in one of the three lanes through the map, more structures must be destroyed. As these structures are destroyed the minions that the player’s champion can summon become stronger.
The game is played as a best of two out of three. A round-robin schedule was put in place starting in January 2019 and concluding with the first Landmark Conference League of Legends Championship—to be held at Elizabethtown College—on March 29. The semifinalists were Drew University, Catholic University, Juniata College and Elizabethtown College. After defeating Catholic, Drew went on to the Championship to face Juniata. Drew University would become the first to win the Landmark Conference League of Legends Championship.