Competitive gaming will be played for points at next year’s Roses tournament, it has been announced. This will be a first in the history of the annual sports competition held between York and Lancaster – eSports have been featured in the previous four years without any points being at stake. Next year however, four points will be up for grabs, putting eSports on an almost equal footing to the tournament’s bigger sports, such as football and rugby.
The news has been welcomed by FragSoc, York’s own competitive gaming society. FragSoc secretary David Meehan said that the decision will have wider implications for competitive gaming across the country:
“This is the first time any UK university has recognised eSports or gaming in any way in any form of official Varsity. Its[sic] also the first time in any event worth noting that we can find that eSports has been given the same recognition/value as such things as rugby, football etc within the same event… As to what the fully means I cant say yet my imagination is already running wild with opportunities for ourselves and other people worldwide!”
The games likely to be played during the competition include Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends, however there are hopes that more games will be added in years to come.
The decision to allocate points to eSports came after years of hard work by FragSoc, Meehan says, with the society successfully working with YUSU to improve the Roses application process. It has not yet been decided how points will be distributed within eSports – once again, FragSoc will be working with YUSU, as well as LUSU and LUGES (the University of Lancaster’s gaming society) to come to a decision in early January.
According to Meehan, the last few years have seen FragSoc grow in size, with the number of individuals and teams competing increasing to the point where teams can now be sent to compete in competitions such as iSeries, and to spectate in championships internationally.
The hope is that this expansion can be continued over the coming years: “Future hopes[sic] is just more growth. Get more people involved and get this even more mainstream. More events, more teams, more people watching and supporting FragSoc members, just more of everything.”