Tim Belloff, director of Academic Technology and Esports, and Bill Rodgers ’18, assistant director of Esports, discussed the University’s Esports program on the competitive gaming podcast Stay Plugged IN (SPIN). Belloff and Rodgers discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the inaugural varsity season, as well as their plans moving forward to bring Arcadia Esports events to more viewers online.
“I think [coronavirus] was one of the things we were able to adapt to, once we were allowed to continue to compete,” said Belloff. “Knowing the esports world could continue on virtually because that’s what we do—we compete virtually, we’re not competing in the same locations. So once organizations allowed that to continue happening, and we were allowed to continue to do that, we didn’t see any ill effect [from the pandemic].”
Arcadia launched esports under the Athletics Department as a varsity program in the summer of 2019, with the inaugural season during the 2019-20 academic year. Beginning this fall, the program will compete in six games: Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League, as well as recently added Rainbow 6 Siege, a team-based, tactical game that features 5v5 team gameplay, and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, a 1v1 fighting game.