Mount St. Joseph University

The Case for Overwatch as an MSJ eSport

Dateline: student newspaper

By: London Bishop

File Under: dateline, esports, nace, overwatch

National Association for Collegiate eSports logo

When I originally set out to write this article, I knew I wanted to present the student perspective on the addition of eSports to the MSJ roster of competitive activities. eSports, or competitive video gaming, is a worldwide phenomenon that has been growing out of basements and bedrooms into stadiums and universities. For many people, the industry that has grown up around eSports often flies under the radar. However, the eSports fever is alive and well for those familiar with the video game scene, and with so many games to choose from, it’s not surprising the variety of interest that eSports have generated.

Overwatch in particular has a thriving collegiate eSports scene, particularly in the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE). Overwatch is a popular game at Mount St. Joseph as well, with interested players spanning multiple grade levels. Some graduating seniors lament missing out on the opportunity to compete in video games they have been playing for fun for years.

“I wish this had come around before we were graduating,” says senior chemistry major Sam Garrity. “Our group of friends, we play Overwatch together all the time. We could have an entire Overwatch six-stack [a full-sized team] of seniors if we weren’t all graduating.”

Overwatch is a fast-paced, first-person hero shooter, in which teams of six compete with each to capture objectives using a variety of abilities, and the opportunity to switch heroes to counter their opponents at will. The game emphasizes teamwork over mechanical skill and players must work together in tight synergy to overcome their adversaries. It is one of the primary competitive games within NACE’s jurisdiction, and is the second most popular after League of Legends, for which the Mount is recruiting for the fall of 2019.

“I’d like to see them add more games. Overwatch is really popular around here,” says Kyle Cole, a freshman graphic design major and president of the 1-Up gaming club. “CS;GO [Counter-Strike; Global Offensive], Hearthstone, things like that would be good to see the Mount being competitive in.”

For more information about joining the Mount St. Joseph eSports team, contact tim.david@msj.edu.