GREAT FALLS – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to postpone and cancel sporting events across the globe, it’s not just traditional sports that are affected.
The University of Providence eSports team also had its season cut short.
“We were gearing up for a League of Legends tournament and then they just canceled the whole thing a few days in advance,” said Argo eSports coach Aaron Stucker.
One would think a sport that requires a computer and an internet connection could continue, but, as Stucker explains, it’s much more complicated than that.
“Our PC’s we have in the room are designed for gaming and are designed to handle the load, and not many of our guys had similar setups at home,” said Stucker, who is also the Director of Residential Life at Providence. “I’m a baseball guy, so I compare it to whether some of the team had gloves at home or not. Is he going to be able to practice at home?”
The National Association of Collegiate Esports is the governing body in charge of eSport competition at the university level. The Argos had one competition remaining in their spring season called the Teemo Cup featuring teams from schools that didn’t qualify for the College National Championships.
“The NACE was having a hard time keeping competitions going, so they decided to suspend the rest of the season,” Stucker said. “Initially thought they were going to last, but once schools started going online it became too difficult.”
Stucker looked into the potential of participating in some exhibition matches against other schools, but once campus was closed and students didn’t have access to practice facilities, he decided to end the spring season.
The Argos only lose one team member to graduation, so the majority of the eSports team will return in the fall of 2020.