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By Sean Lanigan

Sonic the Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat, and Super Mario Brothers are some of the most popular video games of all time. With the continuing rising popularity of video games, Esports, or competitive gaming, has gained a lot of momentum as well.

Five Towns College’s Athletic Department recently added an Esports team. On Wednesday, September 30th, a Virtual Town Hall Event was held to explain to the Five Towns community the upcoming launch of the new sports program.

The event was hosted by Five Towns College Athletic Director Matt Guercio, Five Towns Director of Events Michael Cavalli, and Head Coach of the Five Towns College Esports team, Thomas O’Keefe. O’Keefe brings with him a great resume which includes a Sports Management Degree from St. John’s University. Esports might be video games, but it has a lot more in common with conventional sports then people think. Five Towns College Athletic Director Matt Guercio is happy to see the Esports team be a part of the athletic department saying, “The competition and physical presence of traditional sports and Esports vary in some ways, but the preparation and commitment are no different. Gamers are just as competitive as student-athletes. They practice daily, develop a strategy, break down video of their opponents, and have the ability to make in-game adjustments as needed.”

So, what can you do to help the team? Anything from broadcasting, content creating, being a fan or playing for the team as well. Some players will be able to play for the team and broadcast at the same time. You don’t see that in other sports, which makes Esports very unique. Some examples of content creating include creating highlight packages of games and helping the team with social media programming.

Some of the goals of the Esports team include putting Five Towns College in the best light, not only to put together a competitive program but incorporate Esports elements and lessons into the multiple majors and programs that are taught here at the college. There will be a varsity team and a practice squad as well. The three games that they will start with are Rocket League, League of Legends and Overwatch.

The Esports Town Hall was an incredible success. The future looks bright for the program. Mr. Guercio could not be more optimistic, “The outcome of the Esports virtual town hall was tremendous. The enthusiasm and engagement of all the participants is an indication that this program is going to take off and continue to build momentum.”

Game on, FTC.

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