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

University of St. Thomas’ first collegiate esports team aims to to redefine ‘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 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 less focused on the ergonomics of esports, but they discuss the dynamics, rules and strategies involved in the game Overwatch.

Some of it goes over the reporter’s head.

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. To someone who has never played or watched an esports game, the screen can look cluttered and chaotic.

“It’s a little harder to see the skill in (esports) and see what’s cool about it,” Alizakhov said, particularly when you’re watching all of the skills happen on a screen. Esports doesn’t benefit from a long-established fanbase or the broad familiarity of
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