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screen grab frrom League of LegendsOrganizers of the April 4 ESports tournament say participation exceeded their expectations.

UWindsor makes its mark in electronic sports arena

The strictures of social distancing may have called time-out on sports, but ESports are still going strong, reports the UWindsor team. Converting its April 6 event into a completely digital experience attracted more than 150 competitors from across Ontario and several U.S. states.

Organizer Paul Meister, a doctoral student of biochemistry, credits a strategic social media campaign along with prizes provided by the Faculty of Science.

“We were shocked to see how many people registered. The support from science really made the difference,” he says. “Students were really engaged. It was amazing to see such a sense of community. We even had a high school team from Arizona participate. I couldn’t have asked for more.”

The entire 13-hour League of Legends tournament, culminating in highly competitive battles between University of Windsor students and challengers from Waterloo and Illinois Academy, was carried live on Twitch.tv with commentary by student volunteers.

Players and viewers — including one watching from Europe — discussed how much it meant to have a sense of community in these difficult times.

The Windsor team’s head of player engagement, second-year kinesiology student Nicklaas Zuidema, says ESports on campus has come a long way.

“Since the very beginning, students from all faculties have been eager to get involved,” says Zuidema. “We’ve had massive growth over the last two semesters, going from a completely empty Discord server to more than 300 students. I can’t wait to capitalize on all this hard work and do even more.”

Paul says the team is planning more events throughout the summer.

“Students should keep an eye out, since we’ll have something for everyone, from competitive tournaments all the way down to casual, fun games,” he says.

Students can follow the latest news through the UWindsor ESports Twitter feed (@UWinEsports) or on its website, https://lancersgaming.ca/.

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