(Photographed by Staff Writer Jesse Magnifico)
Staff Writer: Jesse Magnifico
On Tuesday, September 12th, the Marketplace welcomed UMassD students for a 7-9 PM game night. It was bustling and booming with a sizable crowd playing VR, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart, Fifa, Just Dance, and Dragonball Fighter Z. Many others were observing intently, itching to play.
The highlight of the night was meeting the Corsair eSports team.
An ever-expanding group, Corsair eSports is run by students for students. It was massively reformed from the ground up not too long ago by the current president, Christian Augat.
No matter your rank, Corsair eSports invites you to join their Discord and become a member of their teams. The program is actively searching for members for Overwatch 2, CS: Go, Splatoon 3, Apex Legends, League of Legends, Rocket League, Valorant, and much more.
They wish to gather teams of 5-6 or upwards to 7, split into A (varsity) and B (open) teams. Teams are expected to play/practice approximately 1-2 times a week over Discord.
They are also open to suggestions for other competitive games to add to their rosters.
I had the pleasure of chatting with the representing leadership that night to learn what sparked their interest in and love for Corsair eSports, as well as the games they play.
President – Christian Augat
Major: Human Resource Management
Game: League of Legends
In-Game Name: EclipsedSunset
Roles: Top, jungle
Most played characters: Quinn, Fizz, Tryndamere, Darius, Garen, Nocturne, Jarvan IV
Reason for joining Corsair eSports/playing competitive video games: “I’ve always had a deep fascination as a kid for games and, on another level, being in contact with people the entire time and becoming friends. The connection is really nice, and having that community base is heartwarming. We have all these people I didn’t know before, but now we’re all together, and that’s really nice….
I only got into gaming five or six years ago, and it was only because my parents never let me. What’s funny is that we had an exchange student come in from high school when I was still in middle school. During that time, I always looked over while he was playing on his laptop, and he was always playing League. I asked him, ‘What’s this game? What are you playing?’ and he would tell me about it….
When I got to college, I was like, ‘I really want to go pro or help people go pro.’ What I’ve been doing is this. When I discovered there was an eSports club, I went to it and found out there were only thirty people, and half of them were inactive….
There wasn’t too much to go off of, so I got in contact with the person who made it, which was Stacy, our treasurer right now, and I asked her, ‘Hey, what’s going on with this club? Is it taking off?’ She said, ‘No, it’s kind of inactive right now, just floating through the space of Discord.’
In my head, I was like, ‘I really want this to be something.’ I started meeting with vice chancellors like Vice Chancellor Scott. I met with Chris and Stacy to see what they could do for us as a student organization supporter. I went to Shake the Ship…. VC Scott was the only one who wanted to help me with Corsair eSports…
Me and Stacy started going through the process of putting it together. We put out posters, and that’s when everyone else started coming in. That’s when we decided to start having meetings and made a student body government. From there, we just blasted off.”
Acting Vice President & Secretary – Emily Simoes
Major: Animation and Game Art
Game: None currently (previously Overwatch; wants to play League of Legends)
Reason for joining Corsair eSports/playing competitive video games: “I started all the way back in 2018. When I first got Overwatch, I was just playing with a couple friends, and one of my friends actually played competitively, and they got me into it. I met so many friends, and I fell in love with the team environment.
Eventually, I tried being a manager, and I loved that even more, so that led me to wanting to be in a leadership role in general here. I like helping out.”
Social Media Manager – Katelyn Pereira
Major: Graphic Design & Photography
Game: Overwatch 2
In-Game Name: ataries
Role: Support (main), DPS (currently filling in for)
Most played/favorite character: any support (no strict preference)
Reason for joining Corsair eSports/playing competitive video games: “It’s a funny story. I started playing Overwatch because I had a crush on this guy. [Laughter] In middle school, I was friends with this guy. He told me he played Overwatch, and I was like, ‘My older brother plays Overwatch. I can play Overwatch!’ So I took [my brother’s] game, and I started playing it just to impress this guy.
He didn’t go to the same high school as me, so I forgot about him. I kept playing Overwatch because it was actually fun. I played it of my own accord…. During COVID, that’s all I did, and I got up to Masters, which is the second highest [rank].”
Valorant Coordinator – Zee Zohori
In-Game Name: sSleepyZzz
Most played/favorite character: Killjoy
Reason for joining Corsair eSports/playing competitive video games: “One of the main reasons I first wanted to make a Valorant group is because my brother is the president of the UNE esports team, and I wanted my team to compete with my brother.
When I started actually being and making a team, I realized that it’s also a good place for me to make friends and find people that I can vibe with… and I just like the leadership role. As much as it is hard to do, especially because there’s a ton of people, I like being able to have organization, and I know before [Corsair eSports] didn’t really have that, and I wanted to build upon that.”
Overwatch 2 Coordinator – Miranda Souza
Major: Computer Engineering
Game: Overwatch 2
In-Game Name: Boopyrie
Most played/favorite character: Lucio
Reason for joining Corsair eSports/playing competitive video games: “It started as a friend group that was just kind of, like, ‘Hey, you guys wanna try and be more competitive and form a team?’ I don’t remember how many years ago it was. I fell in love with the team environment there and carried it throughout the years.”
Splatoon Coordinator – Ryan Berry
Major: Computer and Data Science
In-Game Name: RDB
Reason for joining Corsair eSports/playing competitive video games: “I’ve been playing [Splatoon] competitively for six years. It’s been since 2017. It’s really cool to have a team you can play and strategize with, so I wanted to bring that here. I feel like esports is all about strategy, and being able to coordinate with people and not play solo is exciting.”
Thanks to Christian and the rest of the team’s immense and fruitful efforts, Corsair eSports has exponentially taken off to where it stands today. There are currently over 200 members with over 40 alumni! The majority of activity takes place in the Discord server.
There will soon be a dedicated room (the esports resort) coming this spring under the Claire T. Carney Library.
Lenovo Legion T7 34IRZ8 desktops will be connected to ethernet, along with much-awaited gaming furniture and streaming equipment. The team couldn’t stop thinking about finally having an upgraded, dedicated gaming lab.
Current efforts are underway to become affiliated with Twitch, so subscribe to their channel!
*Photo credits edited on 9/24/23