FHSU to debut Esports team; will hold tryouts this spring


Fort Hays State University has approved funding towards a varsity Esports team, which will be stationed out of Hammond Hall and debut in the fall semester of 2020. For those unaware of what Esports is, it can be defined as a cutting-edge way for professional gamers to display their gaming talents in multiple fields. Such as, CounterStrike, Apex Legends, Rainbow 6, Rocket League, League of Legends, or Hearthstone. 

The technical definition of Esports may intimidate the average gamer that has yet to establish a solid gaming resume, but don’t worry. Tryouts will be discussed upon entry with Kevin Shaffer to ensure that your skills are up to par. This can either be done in person or virtually with current Esports members. Professor Shaffer is anticipating to fill about 15 spots for the varsity team. 

“We would be willing to recruit any gamer who plays an individual game (e.g. Fortnite), who is at the top of their game,” said Kevin Shaffer, the director of FHSU Esports in regard to what type of members they would like for the varsity Esports team. 

For those interested but still contemplating and need more on an incentive, there will also be scholarships available; ranging from one-thousand to five-hundred dollars. Both levels of scholarships are renewable upon meeting the required qualifications. 

“We have a varsity-thousand dollar scholarship, which means they get split up into two payments each semester and you can keep that scholarship next year if you keep going,” Shaffer said when explaining ways that could attract new students to attend Fort Hays State for the Esports program. 

Funding for the construction of an Esports center is expected to arrive in July of this year. This facility will be filled with gaming quality computers, which will be open to students and staff; when the Esports club and varsity team is not utilizing the space. 

“[You] can test out the computers to see if you want to join Esports; try it out and use them for the new game release, it’s open to all students,” said Robert Boucher, the President of Esports. 

“Esports isn’t just for gamers, anyone can be a part of it. I am learning strong leadership skills and I’m participating in my school like I never thought I would,” Boucher said when asked about a message he would like to send potential newcomers for the upcoming varsity Esports team and Club. 

Shaffer has expressed that the FHSU Esports club is a standard student club and is open-ended; any student can participate in it. So stop by Hammond hall in office 141 for more information about joining either the Esports club or the varsity team.

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