By Jacob Jones
The WPU esports teams are developing and improving in games such as Overwatch, Rocket League, and Valorant this semester.
Overwatch especially has grown since last year because one of the Valorant teams transitioned into Overwatch, becoming one of the most heavily involved teams.
Another one of the new developments is the addition of new head esports coach Coleman Arehart. Arehart previously was an assistant coach for the esports teams, and now is in his first year as head coach.
“It’s been a great experience so far, and I’m really looking forward to taking the top spot in our competitions this year,” Arehart said.
In recent events regarding our esports teams, WPU hosted North Carolina State University’s “Smash Down,” a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament on Sept. 23 in Finch Library at William Peace University.
Before the event, players and coaches both shared their thoughts on what esports has done for them and what it is like being involved with esports at school
“I think because of the diversity in esports you meet so many different kinds of people just by playing games. A lot of my good friends I’ve made are these people I’ve been playing games with and I’m exposed to communities I would never probably meet before because of that, said Elisha Thomas, a sophomore and coach for WPU’s Overwatch team.”
Alyssa Poteat, a junior and captain of the Overwatch team also gave insight on how hosting NC State’s Smash Bros. tournament impacts WPU’s own gaming community.
“I think this is a great step in expanding our esports program and making it more recognized across campus, ” said Poteat. “I like that we got the opportunity to compete with NC State and be able to put our names out there.”
The Smash Bros. tournament had a great turn out with over 30 players from William Peace, NC State, Duke, and a few other universities! The event was filled with a lot of passion and energy for the game and everyone had a great time. The event was also live streamed on twitch, where anybody can watch at WPUEsports – Twitch.
The esports community at WPU has been expanding gradually over the last few years with people of all experience levels coming together for the program. Nathan Maxwell, coach and captain of the Super Smash Bros. team said, “It took a lot of outreach within the community. I mean, NC State’s been helping me plan this event since this is our first big tournament where we’re allowing people from the outside community to come in and so they definitely have been a really big help in this journey to make our esports team or Smash Bros esports program a bigger thing than it was last year.”
On the 25th of September, WPU esports will begin competing in the NACE (National Association of Collegiate Esports) league play. So far, they’ve been playing in scrimmages against other schools to prepare for the league. In the previous year, the Valorant and Smash Bros. team both performed well in the NACE, reaching the grand finals and achieving second place in both games.
“This year, Peace is looking to get back to finals and earn that number one spot in Rocket League as well,” said Coleman.
Additionally, on the 23rd and 24th of September, our Esports team will have competed in the Serious Play Conference. Our team will be traveling to Catawba College to compete in a three vs. three live event. There will be multiple teams, matches and a lot of heavy competition between schools. More information will be posted about the results of that event in future stories.
Any competitive gamers looking to compete and join a team; WPU Esports are always open to include new and dedicated players to games like Overwatch, Valorant, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Players are also welcome to build their own teams for other games if they want to compete in different tournaments.
More updates and information will be soon to come from our Esports teams and can be found on the WPU Esports page linked below