By Shem Rivera, Feb. 16, 2021
ASI’s Intramural Sports program will begin its spring season on Feb. 22, when students can sign up to join leagues that include newly added and popular esports titles such as League of Legends, Valorant, Super Smash Bros, NBA 2K and more.
The season’s format will involve each team selecting a date and time for competition and playing a total of two games a week for three weeks straight. Then, teams will compete in a single-elimination playoff bracket with the first-place winners receiving an intramural sports t-shirt.
Russell Sakurai, a fifth-year kinesiology student and an assistant supervisor at Intramural Sports, has been a part of the team for the past three years and is pleased to see the inclusion of esports to the program.
“Esports is growing everywhere and a lot more people have been getting involved in it,” said Sakurai. “There are people who do not have the opportunity to play regular sports and are now transitioning over to esports.”
Intramural Sports introduced esport leagues last fall semester due to the cancellation of physical sports in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
Kaycee Tanioka, interim associate director of Campus Recreation programs, wanted to continue esports leagues for spring after seeing its popularity with students last fall.
“We developed an esports program for students to be able to participate virtually and still have ways to connect, have fun, engage and stay connected with other students on campus in a remote environment,” Tanioka said.
In prior years, students had to pay $20 to access all leagues, but due to the virtual semester, ASI waived the fee.
Students can register with other players to form their own team or sign up in the free agent pool where they can get selected by a random team if they cannot find their own.
Besides esports leagues, Intramural Sports also offer activities such as a monthly virtual trivia night where students meet on Zoom and compete with themes like sports, entertainment, music and more.
“We are also bringing back the Step Challenge which had about 150 students and staff participate in it last year,” said Tanioka. “You try and get as many steps as you can by being active, whether that’s walking, running, or during a virtual fitness class. You compete against other people to try and win the competition.”
The Intramural Sports program wants to continue engaging as many students as possible in a virtual setting. Jordan Sakasegawa, a fourth-year criminology student and a lead supervisor for the program, hopes more students will register and become part of the program. “Our registration so far is not hitting like it was last semester,” said Sakasegawa. “We would love to have a higher registration rate then fall. We want to be able to reach out to more participants and have people be a part of our program.”
Last fall, intramural sports garnered a total of 238 participants while spring has 120 participants so far. The program is continuing different strategies to reach out to students by emailing, contacting clubs and utilizing social media platforms. Registration for the esports leagues is available until Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. Students interested in joining esports leagues or other Intramural Sport leagues can visit its website for more information.
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