Introducing DePaul Gaming League and DePaul Summer Showdown

By: Jeremy Blye

 

In the upcoming weeks, we will be introducing some events to help provide the Esports community with more to participate in. Two of the major events will be the DePaul Gaming League and the DePaul Summer Showdown. DGL will consist of more casual gaming sessions with game features such as Among Us and other party style games. While on an Among Us note, our first DGL will occur tomorrow, June 18th at 6 PM CST. With the Summer Showdown, it will be focused around our competitive games and teams. These events will be either tournament-style or show matches for almost all of our competitive series. Our first Summer Showdown series will occur next Thursday, June 24th at 7PM CST. This will be streamed on our Twitch Channel and it will feature Rocket League. As the summer continues these events will rotate every week.

Keep an eye out for the future events, they will be announced between our Discords, Twitter, and Instagram. It will be interesting to see the titles we bring on board in the upcoming weeks.

 

                       

 

Personally, I am extremely excited to add these events into the summer. Although I may have a busy summer with my jobs, it is nice to have some competition and casual sessions to experience within a community that I love. Hopefully this is something that we will be able to add into the future and maybe even expand it to become larger than it is at the current moment. I look forward to see who will participate and the memories that will be created by making these events a reality for our community. I hope others see this in the same light and express similar feelings throughout the course of this summer.

DePaul Esports Awards

By: Alex Rodriguez

As we conclude this strange year, we thought it would be important to acknowledge and celebrate the individuals who went the extra mile within our Esports program. Last week we released the list of winners for three Esports awards, each representing a different accomplishment. The first award we gave out was the Most Valuable Player award also known as the MVP award. This was an award that will be given out per team and was awarded to a player who’s devoted time, effort, and skill to help the team achieve new heights. The next award we gave out was the Exemplary Community Member award which was given per-game title and was awarded to someone who helped push their community forward and really put in extra effort to ensure their organization was more enjoyable throughout this remote year. Lastly we gave out a few Student Leader Awards which will be given to a select group of individuals that went above and beyond to represent the Esports program as a whole. While this was our first time running the Esports Awards program, we hope to continue this program for the years to come to really give back to our excellent community.

With that being said, we bid you all an excellent summer break! Without further ado, here are the winners!

Most Valuable Player Awards:

Kevin Forbes – LoL Ruby
Lauren Jang – LoL Amber
Jozef Tokarczyk – LoL Jade
Joel Alvarez – LoL Varsity
Ryan Ayers – LoL Varsity
Albert Luna – Valorant Academy
Andrew Hiss – Valorant Academy
Casey Peterson – Valorant Varsity
Angel Rivera – CSGO Varsity
Ross Chapman – Overwatch Black
Chris Cordoba – Overwatch Varsity
Robert Vega – Smash Junior Varsity
Bobby Nieves – Smash Varsity
Maaz Haider – Smash Varsity
Michael Venit – COD Varsity
Ricky Soto – R6 Varsity
Sean Casey – RL Junior Varsity
Spencer Ficht – RL Varsity

Exemplary Community Member Awards:

Aaron Ho – LoL
Tim Komperda – Valorant
Tito Protasio – CSGO
Peyton Gatza – Overwatch
Matt Buerckholtz – Smash
Kevin Donnelly – COD
Richard Santos – R6 Siege
Layne Norris – Rocket League
Will Braun – Minecraft

Student Leader Awards:

Michael Gardner – Commentator
Tom Zdanowski – Overwatch, Valorant, Good guy

Introducing DePaul’s Chapter of the *gameHERs!

By Layla O’Malley

The DePaul Esports community is excited to announce the launch of a new collegiate chapter of the *gameHERs right on our campus! One of the biggest goals of DePaul Esports has always been to create a fun and welcoming environment where everyone can get together and bond over shared interests, and the introduction of the *gameHERs chapter to DePaul will serve to further provide new opportunities for engagement! By partnering with the *gameHERs, we hope to provide a new environment dedicated to the promotion of the voices of all different types of gamers and those interested in Esports and the professional game industry.

In order to bring the *gameHERs to DePaul Esports, it is important to understand the mission and goals of the organization to see how we can work to make this a really exciting new chapter. The *gameHERs, above all else, is an organization designed to amplify the voices of women and non-binary gamers in both professional and recreational video game settings. The community is women-led and prides itself on its abilities to create a space for a variety of people looking to exist in a safe and positive environment! The platform provided by the *gameHERs serves as a hub for content creators, professionals in the gaming industry, and casual video game fans. The organization hosts a myriad of events centered around the mission of advocating for women in games. Furthermore, while the *gameHERs seeks to create a woman-led space built upon empowerment and community, the overarching mission of the organization is to promote the idea of a positive, safe environment meant to provide resources relating to gaming and the game industry to all in a kind and welcoming manner.

With the addition of the collegiate chapter of the *gameHERs at DePaul Esports, we will serve as the liaison between events offered by the *gameHERs and DePaul Esports members while also seeking to provide a similar space of shared community and empowerment through new events of our own. We have begun hosting weekly meetings on Thursdays from 1-2PM CST in the #game-hers chapter of the DePaul Esports Discord where we can share new news from the *gameHERs and generate an environment for comradery, and in the near future we will host a variety of events in partnership with other communities in DePaul Esports centered on different aspects of the casual, competitive, and professional gaming world. As representatives of DePaul’s *gameHERs chapter, we look forward to hosting game nights, professional panels, and casual chats which will all benefit in the amplification of women voices in gaming and Esports. Everyone is welcome to join the *gameHERs chapter within DePaul Esports and we are so excited to work with you in our continued effort to make gaming more accessible and enjoyable for all!

For me personally, I have been so grateful to have the opportunity to work with the *gameHERs and DePaul Esports to create a space that is designed specifically to promote inclusivity. I am very passionate about helping to garner a tighter knit gaming community here at DePaul, and I think creating a channel that allows people to feel safe and heard is a really great way to encourage more participation and create lasting relationships! I cannot wait to see what the *gameHERs will be able to bring to DePaul’s Esports community in the coming future.

 

Check out the announcement launching the *gameHERs Collegiate program here: https://esportsinsider.com/2021/05/thegamehers-womens-collegiate-esports/

A Tumultuous Year

By: Jeremy Blye

 

As we are wrapping up this school year and heading into finals, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on what has happened. By expressing myself and giving a deeper dive into how this year has affected me, maybe it can help someone else look into themselves. 

 

Before I go into this, here is a quick introduction if you are not familiar with myself. My name is Jeremy Blye, and I am a freshman who has recently joined the Esports Team. I am a criminology major with a minor in psychology. This next fact is a little crazy, but I do dabble in video gaming and the industry that follows it. I know, it’s okay, that one is surprising.

 

 

By the way, here is me with my baby, Oliver, if you need more of an idea of who I am :).

 

Coming into college where we have had such an odd landscape has definitely been a challenge. I think this applies to virtually everyone in the world. COVID-19 has thrown everyone through their own demons and obstacles they have had to overcome. This does not mean that every aspect of this past year has been negative though. Luckily for me, I believe the negative events that have occurred have only helped to strengthen one part of us or another. Obviously, this cannot be the case for virtually every little bit of life. Yet, COVID-19 has definitely helped bring many different communities and people together. If you take a look at our Esports Community, you can see how strong we have been. As a collective, we have kept a community running through a whole change of a platform. This is an amazing feat that I felt was not apparent in many communities. I’ll get into that a little bit later.

 

Before March of last year, this group functioned basically in a physical landscape. Now, we have only a virtual landscape. Even with these tumultuous changes, (see what I did there…I used the title within what I’m writing…okay I’ll let you continue reading) the Esports group was able to function almost the same. It is hard to create and establish the relationships one gets from being in person, yet these are still happening. Luckily for myself and others within this community, we have been able to make memories and establish friendships that will last for a long time. This is an aspect of this year I think we can all look at and appreciate. Although we had to push through the thick and thin of this crazy year, we did it. Everything will eventually go back to “normal” or whatever you want to consider a new “normal”. That will be fantastic. I’m sure at this point of this post, you are all wondering how this relates to me. I’m being this philosophical and motivating person, yet I have not even introduced how this has affected myself. Well, let’s take a look.

 

Before enrolling at DePaul, I had no clue what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go with my life. At this moment, I’m still a kid in a world full of adults. This did not stop me from pursuing what I felt was right. In my case, I feel I made the right decision coming to DePaul. Once the school year started, I was not necessarily involved in much since I did not know what I could be involved in. Fortunately for myself, I found the Esports Community and was able to join in. Every single person I met was and is extremely welcoming and inclusive. This is the amazing part about gaming. No one cares about who you are or what you do. They just care to be welcoming and nice…at least in this community. If we were on Call of Duty, this would be a different story. By participating within the community from the get go, I met some amazing individuals. Within my first two weeks of being a part of this community, I was able to get to know both Tom “PRIME” Zdanowski and Alex “Karmajuney” Rodriguez. These are two people I know everyone knows here, but I am extremely grateful to be able to become friends with them. Now I work with them. 

 

 

Look where I am now…I’m at DePaul. I know it is kind of crazy. Photo creds to my mom, what a great lady. Back to the blog now.

 

Even though I was awful at the games I wanted to try-out for, these two were open for me to improve and get better. When I eventually decided to join the Rocket League Team, every single person wanted to see myself succeed. Some ways of pushing me to improve were a little less traditional than others, but it still helped. There’s people like Spencer “Lavish” Ficht, Curtis “Captain Curtle” I have no clue what his last name is, Layne “Mybyke” Norris, and even Carter “Kennedy” McCormick who have been with me every step of the way. I started off as literally the worst player on the team, and now I’m moving up the ranks because of the help I have been given. About 75% of the team has not met me in person and they treated me as one of them.

 

 

Here is a little progression sheet from when I started playing competitively in September of 2020 until today. This just shows how much those around me have helped me to succeed.

 

Not only was I able to establish relationships within this year, this community has allowed me to make some of my closest friends. Alex and Spencer are two people that I can always count on. I may annoy them to no end, yet they’re still along for the ride. I have not even met Spencer, but he is someone who I trust and respect. He is someone that I know will be there for me whenever I need help, someone to talk to, or someone to play games with. As far as Alex, I don’t even know where to start with him. At this point he is like a brother to me. Both of our families are extremely familiar with each other’s endeavors. By taking the opportunity to be on this team, I was able to become this close with him. On top of this, we have our little adventures where Alex shows me different places to eat in the city, I go after Alex for having bad form while running, and Alex comes after me for always having some form of an injury from running. These are just two examples of people who have helped me immensely and I am sure this will continue on within the rest of my college years.

 

Now that you have gotten a chance to take a deeper dive within myself, I hope each one of you will be able to reflect on the past year and try to take some sort of positive from it. I know some of you will think, “Jeremy there is no way I have had ANYTHING good happen this year”. I know that there has been some form of positive in your lives that has been apparent. I definitely know a thing or two about struggling and having obstacles that seem impossible to overcome. Yet, it can be done. You just have to keep your head up and enjoy the ride that was given. 

 

I hope everyone has a smooth ride through finals and gets to enjoy the summer and the school year that lies ahead. Hopefully, we get the opportunity to be in person and expand what this community is and does.

DePaul Esports Dominates the Competition in the Chicago College Esports League

By Kevin Donnelly

Throughout the months of April and May, the Chicago College Esports League had six schools field various esports teams to compete to find out who would be dubbed best in the windy city. Competing in four competitive titles, Rocket League, Valorant, League of Legends, and Overwatch, the teams would accrue points for their school based on their performance against one another in each game. Concluding on Sunday, May 9th, DePaul Esports and their competitive teams conquered the Chicago competition and were crowned CCEL champions!

 

DePaul leapt off to an early lead in the standings through a strong showing in Valorant, with a 6-1 record, spearheaded by freshman Casimir “Kaz” Peterson. The DePaul Rocket League team then carried the momentum of their classmates onto the “soccar” pitch, claiming a commanding victory in the title,  a flawless 7-0 record, and a win against the overall runner-ups UIC in the process. Overwatch was up next as the third featured title, and saw the Blue Demons cruise to a second place finish, with a 5-2 record. Senior and Overwatch leader Tom “Prime” Zdanowski, who helped tournament organizers throughout the event, said, “Really proud of the lessons learned from hosting this event alongside a great showing from all of the teams over at DePaul Esports.” Finally, teams faced off in League of Legends, however DePaul was unable to participate due to midterm exam priorities. Despite being unable to come away from the title’s competition with any points, DePaul’s lead in the standings was too great for any other school to catch and they emerged from the multi-week melee victorious. In addition to their title as the toughest competition in Chicago, DePaul Esports also came away with a $1,000 prize.

After congratulating DePaul on their success, Hauk Nelson, the lead organizer for the CCEL along with GGLeagues said on Twitter that he is, “proud to have built an event here in Chicago, and looking forward to building the esports community in the Windy City!”. Needless to say, things are looking bright for the Chicago Esports community with such dedicated organizations backing it.

“It was with great pleasure that I got to help organize this tournament alongside GGLeagues, Hauk, and the efforts of team captains at each university and esport that was involved. Will indefinitely be taking the lessons learned from helping make this event happen alongside a great showing from all of the teams. Looking forward to the future of esports in Chicago and esports at colleges.” – Tom “Prime” Zdanowski

Zdanowski has been an incredible contributor to both the Chicago and collegiate esports scenes for several years now, as a member of the DePaul Esports Student Leadership Team. It can be certain that there will be a slew of events in the future which Tom will have a hand in coordinating, so be sure to keep your eye out for those.

Once again, many congratulations to our players for bringing a championship home, and make sure to congratulate the teams on social media, through @DePaulEsports! Stay on the lookout for more exciting esports events involving your Blue Demons! #DPUWIN

 

Final CCEL Standings:

1st Place: DePaul University: 60 Points

2nd Place: UIC: 24 Points

3rd Place: Northwestern: 35 Points

4th Place: University of Chicago: 30 Points

5th Place: Columbia College: 20 Points

6th Place: Illinois Institute of Technology: 10 Points