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CSULB Esports Association looks to expand on success

With over 800 members, the group is already one of the more popular clubs on campus.

The CSULB Esports Association competed in the 2016 Beach Con.

Courtesy of CSULB Esports Association Facebook.

The CSULB Esports Association competed in the 2016 Beach Con.

Hunter Lee, Staff Writer

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Sounds of button-mashing and shouting fill the air, as a sea of faces flash blue from the many screens lighting up the room. Over 40 students armed with console systems and gaming laptops crowded the tables in the Health Science building as casual and competitive gamers alike gathered to practice for one of the fastest growing sports: esports.

Beginning in 2013, the CSULB Esports Association has expanded to more than 800 members nationwide, including former and current students and has continued to advance their three pillars of community, competition and charity.

With Week of Welcome and Smorgasport coming to a close, the club had a busy week of recruiting new faces and stocking up on an arsenal of new consoles, as well as hosting the first fundraiser of the semester.

Under the leadership of newly elected president Lourdes Flores, a senior studying business marketing,the club has shifted its focus to make it more accessible for casual gamers and newcomers to be a part of their community.

“The club is open to everybody. We want people who are passionate about gaming as well as those just looking for an outlet to de-stress,” Flores said. “I want this to be a place where people can escape to and have fun with other gamers.”

As well as bringing in more current gaming systems like the Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4, older consoles like the Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo Entertainment System will be making an appearance.

“I want to bring in sports games, mobile gaming and even board games,” Lourdes said. “And one surprise I do have is going to be a throwback hour where you’ll be able to compete in classic games like “Mario Party” and “Pokémon Stadium” for prizes.”

Plans to compete in Collegiate Starleague and the American Video Game League are underway, and those competing will get the chance to partake in popular competition-based games including “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive,” “DOTA 2,” and the new addition of “Super Smash Bros. 4.” Other games will be available for competition so long as enough players are available for a team.

The club will meet bi-weekly, starting this Wednesday from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Health Science building room 102. Members will also be able to get together during the gap week for a casual gameplay night.

Charity will play a big role this year, the club plans to continue its extensive work with various charity groups like Anxiety Gaming and Youth Esports America.

Anxiety Gaming, a non-profit aimed at providing mental health resources to the gaming community, will be partnering up with the Esports Association for a 24-hour live-stream gaming event to raise money for the organization.

Youth Esports America, an organization that brings campus gaming clubs together, will offer children in difficult living situations the chance to come compete in mini gaming tournaments.

With the fall semester dedicated to setting a foundation for the internal community, the spring semester will focus on outreach to a wider audience. While Flores was reluctant to give any details, a spring event is in the works, aimed at inviting the CSULB community to take part in the gaming community.

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