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NM State esports, a game like no other

New Mexico State University’s Esports Association invites game enthusiasts of all ages to participate in the inclusive and competitive environment in which players compete with teams or by themselves against others. While members are more than welcomed, like sports, competing members on the varsity team must attend NMSU and have some experience.


People sitting in front of computers.
The New Mexico State University Esports Association hosted a game day of “Fortnite” in summer 2018 at the Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center with more than 100 participants. (Courtesy photo)

NM State’s esports club started in 2015, but the “League of Legends” varsity team did not begin until later on that year. The most recent “Overwatch” varsity team was founded more than a year ago. There are currently 50 to 60 active members and nearly 20 of those members meet every Friday at 6 p.m. in Hardman and Jacobs Undergraduate Learning Center.

The club, which was originally founded by a group of students who wanted to play in collegiate leagues for NMSU, has gotten enough attention that a support structure has formed including players, coaches and administrative staff.

Some of the most popular games played include “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” “Rainbow Six Siege,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “Rocket League” and “Hearthstone” as well as fighting games such as “Super Smash Bros.,” “Tekken 7” and “Street Fighter V.”

In the 2018 calendar of events, NM State’s esports took part in multiple events including its first trip to the OP Live: Dallas “Overwatch” tournament and the “League of Legends” and “Overwatch” tournament held at the Las Cruces Game Convention in March 2018.

Other events were held at the NMSU campus including cram session, four video game tournaments in four different games: “Street Fighter,” “Super Smash Bros.,” “Madden” and “Fifa” in May. NM State’s Esports Association and Information and Communication Technologies hosted gamers for a 12-hour “Fortnite” Battle Royale in July 2018 and more than 100 people participated in the event.

“We are always looking for more people, especially for ‘League of Legends’ and ‘Overwatch.’ So, if you are a high-level player and interested in competing, or someone who plays more casually and just wants to be a part of the community, we welcome anybody and everybody,” said Matthew Lenz, former vice president and lead coordinator of the NM State Esports Association.

While NM State’s Esports Association has always played in the Hardman and Jacobs computing lab, it is a goal for the team to find a place to open a gaming lab. The lab would strictly have gaming computers as well as play stations and would be available for students during their free time.

“I like the gamers who do this, they’re interesting to me. They are different and they are the same because there’s a lot of people my age who played when they were younger, so I can relate to those folks,” said Randy Bamford, adviser for the NM State esports team.

For more information visit https://esports.nmsu.edu or join the NM State esports discord at https://discordapp.com/invite/7K532wg where members can chat with each other. A recruitment form also is mandatory to be filled out at https://esports.nmsu.edu/recruitment/.