GCCC Offers E-sports


Gerardo Aparicio, Staff

On Oct. 4, Garden City Community College introduced its first NJCAA E-sports team. E-sports is much like traditional sports, except players engages in competitive video gaming. GCCC’s E-sports team currently has four players recruited by team manager David Larsen. Larsen commented on why he thinks it is important to have an esports team at Garden City Community College and how it is similar to traditional sports.

“It’s always been something that has interested me, and I think it would be good for students that don’t play sports, who might just sit in their room and play video games, and don’t really get interaction outside of that. It gives them an opportunity to become a part of something bigger and get them involved in the college.” Larsen said. “It’s kind of like football or basketball, typically there are two teams competing, or one on one. The only difference is it’s not physical, it’s more of a mental game, you’re trying to outplay the other person either through strategy or just pure mechanics.”

Playing video games may not seem like a real sport to most, but the team is part of the National Junior College Athletic Association. Currently the NJCAA holds 24 separate regions across 24 states with 525 schools.

“Right now we’re apart of the NJCAA but we are going to be looking at being part of the CSL (Collegiate Starleague), the Tespa Rocket League, and NACE (The National Association of Collegiate Esports).”

Although GCCC’s E-sports team only has four players, Larsen expressed his excitement for the team as well as his expectations for the players. 

“Kris Henderson has competed nationally with Fortnite, and Darwyn Maxwell is very knowledgeable and very confident with his gameplay in Smash Bros. So I’m excited to see what they can do.” Larsen shared. “My expectations from them is to be involved, to be serious about it, to treat it like it’s an actual sport, practice accordingly, watch film and go over certain matchups and tier lists, kind of like going over a playbook.”

With a rural, South-West Kansas demographic, it may seem a struggle to get people excited about video games. However, most are open to the idea and David Larsen hopes to see the program grow.

“It’s been really good to see that everyone is really excited about it. I want to get the community involved, maybe host some local tournaments to help get the knowledge out to the high school kids so they can see what we have to offer if they’re interested and let people get involved to see what it’s about.”