University of St. Thomas first colleagiate esports team aims to to redefine the definition of ‘gamer’ – Houston Chronicle

University of St. Thomas first colleagiate esports team aims to to redefine the definition of ‘gamer’ – Houston Chronicle

St. Thomas Celt player Ivan Alizakhov’s hands wave in the air passionately as he describes the many ways he alters his desk setup in hopes of improving his gameplay. With more than 40 mice and multiple mousepads and keyboards, Alizakhov is known to shift the level of his monitor and length of his desk often to test out what works best for his body during competitive esports tournaments in which plays a character battling it out on near-future Earth.

His University of St. Thomas teammates, who sit nearby in their shared townhouse, are not as enamored with the ergonomics of esports, but they discuss the dynamics, rules and strategies involved when they play the game Overwatch, around which their university has established their league.

Some of it goes over the reporter’s head, which is not surprising. To many people, the world of esports can seem like the Wild West, they say.

Esports is played on a video game console or computer and involves individuals or teams who battle it out in a multiplayer competition on a screen, manipulating animated characters involved in battles or quests. Esports doesn’t benefit from a long-established fanbase or the broad familiarity of in-real-life sports. And to someone who has never played or watched an esports game, the screen can look cluttered and chaotic.

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