SOU Valorant Esports team has successful season

SOU Valorant Esports team completes successful season

SOU’s Valorant Esports team recently completed its best year of competition by finishing its regular season with six wins and one loss and then making it to the semifinals of its post-season Nace Starleague Open + tournament. The SOU team won its quarterfinal match, 2-0, against Connecticut’s University of New Haven before losing in the semifinals, 2-1, to eventual tournament champion Carleton University of Minnesota.

The SOU team’s season extended through winter and spring terms.

Members of the SOU Esports team grew into a cohesive unit, bonded by their shared passion for Valorant – a team-based, first-person hero shooter video game set in the near future. Valorant is among the most popular games played by Esports teams, with characters based on various countries or cultures, and players assigned to either the attacking or defending five-person teams.

The SOU team was led by Hunter Miller and Bruno Weston, and also included fellow students William Doctor, Elliot Glenn, Ezra Fader, Angelo Padavana, Kyle Richardson, Spencer Miller and Ryan O’Pecko.

“I’ve always had a passion for competing in Esports and I’m glad that SOU has a place where I can do that,” Weston said. “The season as a whole was unbelievable, this team showcased that a team doesn’t need to have the best of the best, as long as the team chemistry is on point.”

Many of the players had never before experienced the intensity of competitive Esports tournaments, but adapted as their season progressed. Team members found their places within the team, and came to understand their roles and team strategies.

“I am a long-time gamer, but I am new to the competitive (first-person shooter) scene,” Glenn said. “Learning about the game and strategy alongside the high-ranking players of our team has been a great learning experience, but the best part has been the chemistry between our players. Every practice was fun and informative, and every tournament carried an energy that no one could deny.”

SOU is among the first institutions on the West Coast to offer both an academic program and a competitive team in Esports – a billion-dollar global enterprise. The university’s academic minor in esports management is one of just a handful that are offered nationally and its combination of programs positions students for future employment in the growing industry.

Courses in the SOU’s Esports minor offer structural principles for the world of Esports, addressing the industry’s ethics, focusing on diversity, eliminating toxicity and teaching efficient business management. The minor complements majors of all kinds, but has lots of double-dipping opportunities in the BusinessCommunication and Emerging Media and Digital Arts programs.

The SOU Esports team was accepted two years ago into the NACE StarLeague, the national league of college Esports. The association hosts tournaments in the spring and fall, in which schools from all over the country compete in various video game competitions.