If you’ve walked into the Marcelle Athletic Complex within the past year, you would have realized that there is a new addition to the student workout facility. Upon walking into the new workout space, there is a new area reserved with 5 P.C. computers. This is the home to Siena’s very own ESports team. Sitting down and talking to one of Siena’s ESport’s “A” team captains, Joel Madru, he illustrated to me how this team developed, and where they are hoping to go.
The teams started in March 2018. Siena College spent approximately $10,000 to build the facility for the new team. However, despite this seeming like an acceptable amount for ESports, it is now evident that Siena’s team is still light years behind other colleges with ESports programs. Most other schools with ESports programs have some sort of funding and a liaison with the school. Siena’s team, unfortunately, does not have this.
Junior Joel Madru states, “In the future when I leave, I hope that our team will have more of a connection with the school itself, and also more of a concrete method of getting new players and advocating for their team at Siena admissions days.”
Since the team’s beginning last year, the ESports squad already has almost 40 members. The team is also co-ed, which is something that Joel is really trying to expand. Stereotypically, Esports and video gaming is dominated by males and does not always provide a favorable atmosphere for females. The team as of now only has two female members, but Joel hopes this number increases in the coming years.
So far this year, the team competed in one tournament this past November. Joel’s team, League of Legends “A” was 5-0 going into the first round but got eliminated soon after. Coming up this month, the team has a tournament at the Albany Capital Center, where teams amongst the ECAC and MAAC are coming together in person to compete. The match will be the first time some of the team has competed with others in person.
In preparation for this tournament, the team practices individually and meets together once or twice a week for a group practice. The team’s games consist of League of Legends, Fortnite and Super Smash Brothers for the Nintendo Switch. The League of Legends team is the most competitive in the ESports realm. However, the Super Smash Brothers team here at Siena has garnered the most success since the team’s inception.
As the team is anticipating their upcoming tournament, they hope to expand their team in the future for more Siena students. Joel hopes that over the next couple years beyond his graduation the team can become more selective and as a result more competitive in their conference. Also, he hopes that they will soon have more space to enable the team’s expansion. Joel hopes that his efforts “help set the foundation for the program so it is still competitive and getting better five years from now.”