This summer, 16-year-old Pennsylvania native Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf became the first Fortnite World Cup Champion, earning the $3 million grand prize. The three-day tournament was the first of its kind for Fortnite and a sign of what’s to come in the esports world. This year, Goshen College has hopped on the esports train, as a newfound student-run club has gained the attention of students on campus.
Last year, Hugh Birky, a junior, found himself spending countless hours with other Goshen College students playing Rocket League, a growing game in esports. He saw the value in his time spent playing Rocket League and wanted to establish a club. “Through our common interest, I was able to make a ton of new friends while playing a game I like,” Birky said. “I wanted to give that opportunity to other people at [Goshen College].” The Rocket League team of CharlieGrape (Birky), Dr. Leucine (Martin Gerig) and Khamul (Kyle Snyder) has already seen success in competition. After joining the Indy Gaming League (IGL) this fall, the trio haven’t lost a match and are now 5-0. Their next match will be against one of the top content creators for Rocket League and 2015 GC alumnus Jared Zook (SunlessKhan).
Starting out solely as a Rocket League club in the spring of 2019, esports moved to an all-encompassing club this fall because of expanded interest around campus. Once Birky established interest from dozens of students, the next step was to find a faculty sponsor to make the club official. Jeanette Shown, associate professor of computer science and information technology at Goshen College, answered that call. A game developer since 1999, Shown has a decorated history with video game development and a passion for the games themselves. “And yes, I play games also,” she said. Seeing the potential of scaling […]
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