Published Mar 07, 2018
Full Sail Launches Collegiate Esports League
The league assembled its inaugural teams during a two day event at Full Sail’s Annual Hall of Fame celebration.
Full Sail has made the foray into the world of esports with the recent announcement of Armada, a collegiate esports league open to all students. The organization will unite existing student clubs focused on competitive gameplay under one single unit, and give students the opportunity to compete against other universities in games like Overwatch, League of Legends, Smash Brothers and more.
The initiative to bring esports to campus was spearheaded by two staff members – Mobile Gaming course director Hoyt Dingus and Career Development advisor Christine Jobin. They have since been joined by Justin Connors, a senior video editor in Platinum Creative. Together, they hope to engage students across campus and provide a fun, competitive environment for networking among peers.
“Gaming was hugely important to me when I was growing up, and I think it’s a great way to make friends.” says Christine. “Armada is open to any campus student, regardless of degree program. We’re hoping to build connections between gamers of all backgrounds.”
Anyone can join Armada. Members can look forward to a variety of extra-curricular activities – from viewing parties to campus-based tournaments. The league will function similar to a student club, with an additional roster of seven individuals representing Full Sail at collegiate-level events. As collegiate team members graduate, the league will act as an incubator for new talent.
“The idea is to ignite pride on campus,” says Hoyt. “Armada will engage a sense of camaraderie and give students something to root for and rally around. It’s something they can look back on with pride after they graduate.”
Armada kicked off its inaugural season with two days of tryouts during Full Sail’s 9th Annual Hall of Fame celebration. Hoyt, Justin, and Christine worked to transform the Full Sail Live Venue into an arena worthy of a collegiate team.
“The idea was to create 360 degrees of immersion. Our challenge was to establish a clear vibe on a large scale to set the tone and template for future Armada events, and I think we accomplished that. We looked to international brands like Blizzard in our research, and we brought that level of professional style to the venue,” says Justin.
Players competed in Overwatch, Rocket League, Smash Brothers, and Dragon Ball FighterZ. As students from all over campus battled it out, volunteer student shoutcasters from across many degree programs provided game analysis on Armada’s official Twitch stream. Audience members received complementary thundersticks at the door, which they used to cheer on their favorite players and teams.
Game Development grad Ari Patrick was on hand for the event. A producer at Epic Games, Ari led an exclusive Fortnite Battle Royale challenge to close out the event. He said he was impressed at the level of detail that went into the event.
“I play a lot of these games and I do not have half the talent these student have displayed,” he said. “It’s really cool to see, especially in games like Rocket League where it’s more team-based. You have all these people who are cooperating to achieve the overall goal. It’s incredible.”