By Charlize Alcaraz
Online gaming has been the social lifeline for many during the pandemic. Without the ability to socialize in-person, instant messaging platforms such as Discord became the new hangout spot.
Ryerson E-Sports Club is the place for new and current Ryerson community members to talk, share hobbies and make connections through the community’s common interest in gaming.
Combining friendly gaming competitions and casual forums, the Discord server gives its over 1,000 members the opportunity to choose the channels they’d like to join.
A channel is dedicated to a specific topic or activity within a server. In text channels, users can send typed messages, links and images. Voice channels are for the members who want to talk to other people in real time through voice or video calls.
With over 40 channels as of September 2021, the server—initially created as a gaming hub—turned into the university’s largest online social club.
“Because Ryerson is a commuter school, we don’t have a lot of time to hang out after classes or interact with other students from different faculties,” said Brian Schubert, a second-year fashion student and event coordinator at the E-Sports club. “So having something like the E-Sports club brings the community together a lot.”
Schubert joined the club around two years ago when a friend invited him to the club’s karaoke night, one of many “IRL” events the staff members used to host.
Last year, the E-Sports club collaborated with Ryerson’s Anime and K-Pop clubs, the Association of Ryerson Roleplayers and Gamers as well as RU Cosplay for an exhibition at Oakham Lounge featuring different games and raffle prizes.
“When things open up, we’ll have a slew of karaoke nights, bar nights, social nights—opportunities for people to communicate [in-person] with each other,” said Judah Ellis, a third-year computer science student and president of the E-Sports club.
Although its staff members are looking forward to hosting more IRL events, they are still catering to those who’re stuck at home.
As the fall semester begins, the E-Sports club is hosting its online orientation this weekend with cash prizes and a giveaway for HyperX gaming headsets.
New and current members should also look out for upcoming workshops and gaming competitions by joining the Discord server.
According to Schubert, “you don’t have to play competitively in order to be part of the club…you can just be a part of [our] community.”