Gustavo Contreras/Staff Writer
For the first time in FIU history, our University will host a virtual esports season, featuring games like “FIFA 20” and “NBA 2k20.”
The FIU Intramural team is aiming to take a step forward during the pandemic by providing FIU with its first online gaming leagues, as confirmed by the Coordinator of Competitive Sports, Mr. Thomas Giles.
Registration for leagues for the Summer A semester has already begun, but this has been in development for months now.
In April, FIU sent out a survey asking students of their interest in participating in esports, as well as their preferred games. With “FIFA 20” and “NBA2K” being their majority votes, the others were placed as a one day tournament. With a FIFA tournament in April and the new ImLeagues, student feedback has been visible.
There’s a solid potential for success in this experiment. Now more than ever, lots of people have picked up hobbies like gaming as the nation remains on lockdown, and FIU’s gaming community has always been numerous and present, so this is no doubt a popular idea. Panther Esports has previously held tournaments, but the more diversions there are for the FIU community, the better.
It is nice to see the university adjusting its game plan to attract a broader audience. Online events like this one are essentially going to target more students because of their online accessibility.
Accessibility impacts attendance, so with 94% of FIU’s student body being commuters, online “intramural” leagues make sense. The online competitions being free to students and staff should also guarantee involvement from students and staff.
Here’s the magic behind the process: almost every student is staying inside during the summer semester. Combined with FIU’s approach to bring events to students and the culminating amount of students playing online games, this can result in not only a critical success, but also an extremely efficient way to increase participation in the lowest-participated semester.
In the best case scenario, student participation can possibly lead to a permanent online league that can be both enjoyed by college student life and commuters alike, but a worse case scenario isn’t disastrous either, since low semester participation and the notion of staying inside forms the ideal scenario for experimenting on online leagues.
With the current pandemic being such a drainer, we must give credit to those who still build around their interchanging surroundings, as we have fun playing games with our college mates.