Virtual Gaming with Real-World Skill

Students Form Competitive League of Legends Team

In 2014, 23.5 million people watched the World Series game between the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals, 18 million people watched the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat, and 27 million people watched the League of Legends (LoL) finals, according to a December ESPN article.

LoL numbers have topped that of major sporting events shown on ESPN, and students at Jacksonville University are preparing to participate in the championships of an online game that has reached a real-world medium.

Colby “Ace Alexander” Frank, senior political science major, founded the League of Legends club to fulfill a team of five that would compete in the 2015 North American Collegiate Championship.

“[Last year] we were pretty much two students looking for a team of five to enter into this championship,” Frank said. “So this year, we decided to attack this with a club format and it’s working.”

Frank hopes to have the team practice five days a week, preparing for the Feb. 13 or March 5 qualifiers. The practice will help develop the strategic, game-play skills needed to win.

“You have to be in your teammate’s head, you have to communicate, you have to take charge of vision and things, you have to see the enemies before they see you, and then you have to strategize with your team,” he said. “And then there’s also individual skill. When it comes to your individual mechanical skill, at timing things, at knowing where the enemy is, that’s a huge part of it. That’s the game in a nutshell.”

Teamwork and communication are Frank’s most important goals for his team. Without hesitation, he stated that he believes they will not only achieve, but surpass these goals.

“I am most excited for the JU team to practice five days a week and then wind up winning the qualifiers, being flown out to Riot games to their studios in California to play in a live studio with a live audience, and then reap 24-hour broadcasts on their Twitch channel and their YouTube,” Frank said. “And then when we are college champions, we can bring the JU financial aid department a scholarship as well. My confidence is borderline arrogance.”

LoL is “no laughing matter.” The game is a “fast-paced, competitive online game that blends the speed and intensity of RTS with RPG elements,” according to the game’s website.

Students who are interested in the League of Legends club can email Frank at [email protected].

“We are going to win.”