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Gatsby’s to Esports

A digital rendering of the new esports arena (courtesy of the Waldorf University Facebook page).

By Kaitlyn Bakke

Gatsby’s Grill, in the basement of the Waldorf University Campus Information Center, is being remodeled into an esports arena.

Renovations to Gatsby’s began during Christmas break in December 2019, with plans to finish the construction by the fall semester of 2020. 

Esports are multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators. This is the first year that Waldorf has had a esports team. Gabriel Munoz, president of the Waldorf Gaming Experience, started pushing for esports two years ago and finally the faculty and school took notice. Now a team with a dedicated coach has been formed.

One member of the team, Xavier Patterson, said he joined the team because he competed in esports in high school. “I was glad to help when I heard it was starting here,” he said.

“The main reason I go into esports was because some of my friends were into it,” said another member of the team, Joe Van-Hessen. “I’ve always liked video games, I just hadn’t really played them competitively before so I thought I’d give it a try and see how good I was.”

The esports team primarily competes in the College League of Legends competition. According to their website, “College League of Legends is a student-led network of League of Legends players on college campuses across the U.S. and Canada.” The other competition Waldorf’s esports team competes in is the GGLeagues Iowa League, which consists of other Iowa gaming communities.

After the renovations are complete in the fall semester of 2020, the varsity esports team will have a place where they can practice and compete in hopes of winning virtual gold.