E-Sports club unites gamers

Devan Fink, Online Editor-in-Chief

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The suspense in the room is great. Enveloped, everyone is staring right at their computer screens. The Madison E-Sports Club is in full force, competing with one another, where only the best and most skilled gamers stand a chance against everyone else.

While the club may seem pressure-filled, underneath each member’s thick skin is a love for gaming. That is what brings the members of the club together in an authentic friendship.  

“What makes E-Sports Club different from every other club is the openness and friendliness of the club. You’ll walk in, and the first thing you will hear is someone laughing, or just sharing a story with a friend,” Brian Merski (’18) said.

For about the first half hour, one can find them working on school work, chatting or jumping right into their games. Once the gamers conclude their socializing, the E-Sports Club kicks into high gear, beginning their clashes against one another in an assortment of online games. And, while they do compete against one another, it is often without any prize incentive, keeping the stress level down.

“We are always welcome for new games and are looking to expand our variety,” Co-founder of the club Lawrence Wang (’18) said.

The club members mostly play personal computer (PC) games, including “League of Legends,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” and “Overwatch,” all battle games in which members of the club play against one to improve their rank among players globally.

Members are encouraged to bring a laptop, though many of the current members are open to sharing theirs. Sometimes, though, the club will bring in a Nintendo GameCube for Mario Super Smash Brothers and connect it to the TV in the room. In addition to these, the club also plays phone and tablet games.

“This differentiates us in that we are more than just the average school club, and [we] take our activities to a new level [by participating in a global gaming community].” Wang said.

The club has activities in and out of school and competes with other schools around the nation. Despite this though, Wang believes that the club is one of the most relaxed in the school. There are no fixed meetings, and members can come and go as they please. Sometimes, the gamers of Madison remain at the school until 6:00 p.m.

“I enjoy E-Sports Club because of its unique atmosphere, where members become a group of friends that play together. This friendship is so strong that we celebrate each individual member’s birthday with a birthday cake and a song,” Wang said.

Wang, along with David Huh (’16), started the club last year to create an environment where friends could play games together in school. Currently, they are lacking in membership, particularly amongst underclassmen. The club is junior-heavy, and Wang hopes that the club can remain at Madison after they graduate.

“[For prospective members], there is no pressure or strict guidelines that you need to worry about. As long as you have a passion for games or even just want to talk, you will always be welcome to drop by,” Merski said.

Wang offers similar sentiments.

“I would say a lot of kids fear others making fun of them for being in E-Sports club, but at the end of the day, nobody really judges you for being somewhere you enjoy. E-Sports has a very welcoming atmosphere, and we are looking for new members all the time,” Wang said.