Hands holding game controllerEsports are already making a difference in student life.

Esports contests connect students during pandemic

Even though the University of Windsors Official eSport Team is still in the planning stages, video gaming has already made a difference in student life during COVID-19. Over the summer, Lancer Rec Intramurals held two cycles of competition and crowned its first esport champions. The sessions offered students a unique opportunity to get involved in the UWindsor community remotely.

During intramurals, students were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of leagues including Rocket League, MLB the Show, FIFA, NBA, NHL, and Mario Kart. Each session attracted about 100 competitors.

In July, a pair of student-athletes from the University of marked Canada’s first-ever inter-university eSports victory. Happy Ananum and Sudiksha Khanduja represented Canada in the inaugural FISU eSports Challenge Football, and Khanduja beat Jasleen Badyal of India's Lovely Professional University 6-0 in the women’s tournament.

Esports is an excellent conduit for students to become active in the campus community,” said Cindy Crump, director of the Student Success and Leadership Centre. “It opens the door to new experiences and leadership roles.”

Campus esports organizations have planned multiple events for the fall semester. Lancer Gaming will hold tryouts for the official UWindsor League of Legends team in early October and students selected for the squad will be eligible for a $1,500 award, while the eSports Club tryouts are underway and Lancer Rec is beginning to promote intramural opportunities.

—Bridget Heuvel