BU Today

Campus Life

Virtual Victories Yield Real Rewards

BU’s PC gamers find excitement, competition, and most important, community

It’s been called the fastest growing sport in the world. Airing on ESPN, it draws more viewers globally than the World Series and awards top talent with prizes comparable to what a Fortune 500 CEO earns. It’s called e-sports, and here at BU, amateurs who dream of going pro train not in the gym, but on laptops.

“E-sports are computer games that are taken to the next level,” says Yugina “Jennifer” Yun (CAS’16), outgoing president of BU’s PC Gaming Club. “They are competitive, real-time games, where you are not playing against a computer—you’re playing against other competitors.”

The club, founded in 2011, competes against schools like Harvard and Tufts in local and national tournaments, and in the American Video Game League (AVGL), which launched last year and has a regular college sports league. Oftentimes the club’s students face off against professionals, who practice up to 16 hours a day and grow their fan base by live streaming themselves playing, coaching others, and competing in tournaments. Yun says that the pros can earn up to $500,000 a year.

And while the BU students aren’t pulling down those kind of winnings, the PC Gaming Club’s Starcraft II team made it to playoffs in the Collegiate Starleague, Yun says, and the League of Legends team won second at the Newegg Collegiate Challenge at this year’s Penny Arcade eXpo.

At an end of the year PC Gaming Club meeting, students arrived with laptops tucked under their arm to play one another in first-person shooter (like Call of Duty), arena-style (League of Legends), real-time strategy (Starcraft), and turn-based strategy (Civilization) games. Yun reports that there are 50 core members who come to every meeting, but that number quadruples when counting more casual members who often drop by and join the team for larger events. The club meets Saturdays, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., during the school year in CAS Room 326.

“There’s such a community behind it,” says Yun. She cites an example obviously close to her heart: when her mother became very sick, her friends in the club raised money on GoFundMe to send her home to visit before her mother passed away. “People who play are so passionate, so you can really connect and make a lot of new friends,” she says.

Interested in joining the BU PC Gaming Club? Apply here.

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

1 Comments
Joe Chan

Joe Chan can be reached at joechan@bu.edu.

One Comment on Virtual Victories Yield Real Rewards

  • noob on 06.15.2015 at 2:24 pm

    GG!!

Post Your Comment

(never shown)