TRU Wolfpack adjusts to online format

With the cancellation of intramural sports, Wolfpack pivot to Esports

The TRU Wolfpack Esports League will host weekly tournaments of different games including League of Legends, Rocket League and Rainbow Siege. (TRU Athletics)

In light of no intramurals being allowed on campus due to the global pandemic, the TRU Wolfpack has partnered with the TRU Student Union Esports association to create the TRU Esports League. 

For those unfamiliar with the term, Esports is the act of playing various video games in a competitive multi-player fashion. The Wolfpack Esports league plans to run throughout the fall semester and is free for all TRU students including alumni as long as they have a TRU email address. 

Because the games are played online, the league is accessible to anyone completing school in or outside of Kamloops. 

Prizes will be available for winners of the tournaments within the league and include $200 gift cards to the TRU book store for first place winners and $100 gift cards for the second-place winners. 

The league has three tournaments within it; a League of Legends tournament two days per week, a Rocket League tournament once per week, and a Rainbow Siege tournament once per week. 

“In this virtual and online world that universities are currently in, we felt we needed to offer something for our students and an online Esports program fit perfectly,” Jon Shephard, TRU athletics Coordinator said. “Due to the low number of students on campus with the implications of sanitization and social distancing, we were unable to host intramural sports or fitness classes for our students. This project gives them some form of the community through competition.” 

Esports has quickly gained popularity over the past few years as a major competition that is watched by hundreds of millions of people and the recent pandemic has only helped its numbers grow given the digital nature in which it can be played. 

With traditional sports being put on hold and more people staying home, the Esports world has exploded even more. 

“I started the Esports Association right before the pandemic hit, so I wasn’t sure how much interest there was at TRU but so far sign-ups have been better than expected for our first run at this kind of league.” Rachel Smith, TRU Esports Coordinator said. “As a fan of Esports, I wanted to bring this to TRU’s campus. It’s an area that hasn’t yet been explored at the university, so I’m hoping to assist in its growth and development. I am very excited about its start and I hope the students, staff and faculty feel the same way.” 

With the recent news of all TRU sports seasons being cancelled including the spring seasons of Volleyball and Basketball, it is clear that Esports has a real potential to succeed.

More and more industries are finding ways to go digital and the sporting industry is no exception.

The Wolfpack Esports league starts on Oct. 21 and students are encouraged to join the discord for any inquiries regarding spectating or joining the league.