Laurier eSports tournament set to begin in March

Photo by Alyssa Di Sabatino

Laurier will be hosting an eSports camp over the March break in connection with the Waterloo Region Sport Hosting Office. ESports will also be returning online this winter term, being held on select Saturdays throughout February and March. 

The cancelation of all sports for the 2020/21 season by Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has left the Laurier community eager to compete. The Winter 2021 eSports Tournament being held online by Wilfrid Laurier’s athletic department will kick off on Feb. 6, 2021 with a Rocket League competition. 

“We are really proud of the way we presented eSports to our community. We’ve had some great engagement, first term,” associate director of business operations KP Anand said of the virtual offering. 

The Winter 2021 term of eSports will begin on Feb. 6.  The first two leagues have been announced and the last two games are to be announced later in the tournament. 

As of now, this is the schedule for the upcoming event: 

  • Saturday, Feb. 6: Rocket League 
  • Saturday, Feb. 27: Fortnite
  • Saturday, March 13: TBD 
  • Saturday, March 27: TBD

The virtual camp will be offered over the weekend starting on March 13 and will give gamers a chance to improve their skills and win prizes through the virtual engagement. 

Registration is currently open for the tournament, which will be held on four Saturdays over the next two months. The tournament offers something for everyone in the Laurier community and those in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.

“The cool thing we do, that other schools don’t is that we also invite other community members to be a part of our eSports offerings,” Anand said. “We need to be able to offer people that sense of community.”

After the great success of the Fall 2020 eSports Tournament, the athletic department has expanded the game catalogue for the Winter 2021 tournament to include Overwatch, League of Legends and Valorant. Fan favourite leagues from the Fall 2020 tournament like Fortnite, FIFA and Rocket League will also be offered. 

“We achieved our first round of goals and have changed the offerings in terms of the types of games for the winter term,” Anand said. 

Each league has been given a skill level required to compete in the event. Some events accommodate all skill levels and some for those who are highly competitive. 

The tournament will use multiple gaming platforms to allow for different gaming styles. 

Competitions will be held virtually on cross-play platforms (games that can be run online or on a game system), PC systems, the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. 

Players can compete individually, in duos, or teams of five or six. Depending on the number of people on a team, registration fees vary from $20 to $120. 

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