Bradley Esports Bring Competition to a Keystroke Craft

Behind the swipe-click of computer mice and “thock” of mechanical keyboards sit superstars navigating astounding worlds. Pit against each other in gladiatorial maps filled with fate-shifting accessories, it’s an enthralling display of nuanced, deliberate decision making with new possibilities every second.

“I mean, the only difference in skill, really, is how much time you’re willing to put into the game,” said junior computer science major Reed Sanders, president of the Bradley Esports Committee. “People who get put on our A teams, they just put a lot of time into the games, and it shows when we play against the different schools.”

Following their entry this year into the National Esports Collegiate Conference, the group’s competitive clubs have all seen a leap in intensity as the requirements have become stricter.

“Every team has to play one game a week. Then, we encourage every team to practice at least twice a week. Most teams go above and beyond and practice probably three to four times a week. For a lot of teams, it’s a five-day-a-week commitment.”

That commitment comes with clear benefits. For audiences watching games on the popular livestreaming platform Twitch, they’ll witness the delicate balance of play-calling and split-second decision making that turns gaming into expert sportsmanship. 

But games aren’t all intensity and competition, either. The committee also organizes casual games that are open to any Bradley students interested in participating.

“I think the big step to get involved would just be to join the Discord,” Sanders said. “That’s something that I can’t stress enough just because we have this really unique yet cool way to communicate with everyone … If you aren’t a part of that, you definitely have to join. People don’t know how big esports is because it’s online. Until you join and you see there’s 800 people on the Discord.”

Those interested should keep their eyes open for a LAN party the committee will be hosting in late November at the Peoria Esports Complex.

Some media in Bradley University's current print, video and online materials was acquired before the COVID-19 pandemic. Media acquired after the pandemic began was done so in compliance with Bradley's COVID-19 safety protocols at the time. The ongoing safety of our faculty, staff and students is of the utmost concern during these unprecedented times.