Emily Bush • Staff Writer
An Esports club has been created to
represent UT Tyler’s future of Rec Sports.
Dr. Julie Dellelo (Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning), Dr. Paul Roberts (Professor of HRD), and Dr. Rochell McWhorter (Associate Professor of HRD), along with the Departments of Education and Psychology, Human Resource Development, Computer Science and the University Center of Operations, have come together to make this initiative.
They did so in the hopes of targeting “our current and incoming Patriot students in order to better engage as well as ensure that all students have an impactful collegiate experience,” according to the club website.
In order for this to happen, UT Tyler invested through a Presidential Scholarly Research Grant of $14,000 in the Fall of 2020, which was able to establish the seed of the club and afford five MSI gaming setups with an established lab for the players to get together.
However, the Soules College of Business, in collaboration with the Computer Science Department, is investing another $10,000 to add five more gaming stations for the 2021-2022 school year, allowing more opportunities for students to grow as collegiate players and future professionals.
HRD Senior Ashley Daniel, the head of the club’s community Discord server, had a lot to say about the new club and its plans for the present and the future. As a leader in the server and a Vice President in the club, Daniel is an authority in the field of Esports.
She spoke for the leaders of the club, saying, “We’re very passionate about esports and saw the need for the program,” as “esports is the future, and we’re ready for this future.”
She also mentioned that the goal for the program was to “build a pipeline from collegiate esports to pro esports,” “get everyone united under esports,” and get “UT Tyler to go on a path to grow the organization and give scholarships to those competing.”
When asked about the atmosphere of the club, she responded, “Right now we are doing great and being super inclusive with everyone. A lot of toxicity you see online is because you’re not going to be held accountable. Being in-person, you don’t see a lot of that behavior.”
She did talk about one instance that was handled promptly by her and another leader, stating, “In this club, you can’t be interrogatory to other people’s backgrounds.”
“It’s been really cool to take something I like and compete for the school,” Elijah Mays, a freshman Kinesiology major, described his experience so far through a Discord server.
“Being a freshman, I’ve already made great friends through the server that I’ll have throughout the rest of college. We’ll be facing off against other UT schools and various other schools across the nation both on and offline.”
The students are going to be separated between academic and competition teams, with both competing in different or similar leagues depending on the competition.
If you’re interested in gaming, whether casual or competitive, join the UT Tyler Esports server! Compete in games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Valorant, Rocket League, and more.