Queen’s eSports Association becomes official recreational club

Former AMS club gains support of Athletics and Recreation department, looks to provide greater structure and membership support

Athletics and Recreation announced QEA's club sanctioning on Nov. 16
Credit: 
Provided by QEA

As of this week, the Queen’s eSports Association (QEA) is now the first—and only—gaming-based recreational club on campus.

The Athletics and Recreation (A&R) department announced the club’s sanctioning on Nov. 16, hailing QEA as Queen’s official representation in the bourgeoning community of post-secondary eSports, which consists of large and small-scale competitive video gaming.

“A&R has recognized the considerable and growing interest in participating in Esports, and are looking forward to working with student leaders in growing viewership and participation,” the press release said.

This growing interest has been shown by universities across North America. In Canada alone, eSports teams can be found at nearly every university, and some schools like the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto even offer eSports scholarships for students.

In an interview with The Journal, QEA’s Co-Chair, Josh Abbey, described what the development means to him and his fellow club members. 

READ MORE: During pandemic, Queen’s eSports forges on

 “We’re getting the support we need to develop our competitive environment,” he said.

Abbey, ArtSci ’22, first joined QEA two years ago as game director for the League of Legends branch of the club. After pursuing an administrative role in his second year, he was then asked to be one of the co-chairs for the 2020-21 school year.

Overall, he believes sanctioning the club will allow QEA to retain its administrative autonomy, while  also giving the executive team more opportunities to expand the club’s membership and participation in competitions around the province. Registration for the club has already opened.

“With the Athletics and Recreation department stepping in, we are able to participate in the Ontario Post-Secondary eSports tournament, which is something we previously would not have been able to do,” Abbey said.

Regarding how the pandemic has affected the club, Abbey said membership and participation has not seen any drop whatsoever. In part, he believes this is due to A&R’s fervent desire to have QEA become a place for students who are not able to participate in its regular in-person club activities.

“That’s why our transition from AMS to Athletics and Recreation has gone so smoothly.”

Abbey strongly encouraged anyone interested in eSports to give QEA a try. He believes the club’s ability to accommodate a wide range of games, experience levels, and competitive inclinations is its chief asset.

“This year, we’re attempting to start up more casual console gaming [for members], whereas in the past, we’ve focused on the traditional eSports titles, which are more PC oriented,” he said.

“We’re really expanding our horizons so we can be as inclusive as possible.”

Going forward, QEA hopes to build an on-campus gaming lounge for its members to further facilitate club solidarity.

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