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Colorado College e-Sports club on the new frontier for sports

Posted at 10:24 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 09:18:07-04

This is a dynasty in the making. All at the click of a mouse.

E-sports is here to stay at Colorado College.

“I would challenge anyone to not think of them as athletes when you are working with them,” said Chad Schonewill, e-sports coordinator for CC.

And they have the hardware to prove it.

The Tigers are Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference champions – the first Division III e-Sports conference championship in the country – and they are on the forefront of a new world of sports.

“I usually described it as, imagine a football game………. But the players have magic spells and can fly,” Schonewill said. “The objective is the same: one team is trying to move something from one side to the other and the other team is trying to stop them, and then the flip.”

They play three games: League of Legends, Super Smash Bros and OverWatch. Five or six players on a team against others from all over the country.

The League of Legends world final had almost as many viewers as the Super Bowl and competitions are regularly streamed for worldwide viewership.

“Everyone has a computer – a lot of these games you can play on any computer – you can download it, play it, get involved,” Josh Lauer said. “There is this whole season around it, just like the NFL where you have teams that are owned by other larger teams and its every week. You watch and you cheer for rivalries with 500,000 other people every week and it’s just a lot of fun.”

Lauer has been playing the games since he was a freshman at Rampart High School and along with another student, they began the club three years ago to check out the gaming community on campus. And Lauer’s quest to be the best.

“This was like a dream at the time when I started doing this so it’s really crazy to see where it’s come,” Lauer said.

The team practices three to four times a week in three hour blocks and have coaches (local and international) review tape and help players in specific areas, redefining what we think about when we think of athletes.

“You don’t just become good at the game, right?” Lauer said, who graduates this weekend with a film degree. “You can be talented but you’re still putting in hours upon hours every single week. If someone is practicing free throws there’s someone else practicing their aim for the same amount of time as he would a regular player. Though it’s practice in a very different form, I think they take on the same kind of rolls.”

Millions of Americans play and even more around the world. get on board because this is only the beginning.

“If you’re if you’re going to be in the e-sports now’s the time to hop on the train before it hits full speed.”