Story by Brayden Morse | Sports Editor
Arkansas State University has multiple esports teams that have been around for four years, with a director who runs the program.
Electronic sports, or esports, are organized forms of competitive video gaming where people or teams compete against one another in online or live multiplayer matches. Many gaming platforms, such as consoles, laptops, and mobile devices, can be used to participate in esports events, which can feature a broad variety of games.
Graduate student Fielding Belk, who is in the doctor of physical therapy program, is the director of the esports program at A-State. Belk graduated in 2022 with an exercise science degree.
“For me, esports is another form of competition. I played baseball, but hung it up coming to college. I thought I would try to give myself something to do and fell in love with it. It gave me some structure as well as competition and a group of gamers that I could hang out with,” Belk said.
Belk became the director last summer and has many responsibilities.
The program competes Monday-Friday depending on the game. On Monday Valorant plays, Tuesday is Super Smash Bros, Wednesday is League of Legends, Thursday is Overwatch and Friday is Rocket League.
All of the teams compete in NECC vs. other schools nationwide. On top of each team’s scheduled matches, they also have weekly practice.
The program focuses on content, so they stream their matchers with casters. The Twitch channel for the program is named ArkansasState. Their Twitter and Instagram account is @astateesports. Twitter is their main source of social media.
Tryouts are also held to build the best teams possible. There are currently 40 players across eight games.
Esports is not just on social media platforms, but partnered with ASU-TV to have their match replays broadcast on the local network. They have a weekly podcast of their recaps of matches on Spotify.
Belk shared his appreciation for being involved in a newspaper story when he said, “We have been trying super hard to get publicity on campus.”
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