Regent University’s Esports Team “Elite”

On April 9, 2022, Regent University’s esports team is hosting an all-day tournament in which both Regent Students and visiting high school students at the College Preview Weekend can participate. This will be a unique opportunity for students of varying ages to experience an increasingly popular online gaming sport, and you are invited and encouraged to check it out!

Regent University’s esports team was founded by faculty advisor Professor Tillett, the assistant professor of animation and graphic arts, director for the online graphic arts program, and manager for the equipment office for the CTV program. The club began three years ago when Tillett was striving to create a space where Regent students who loved gaming could come together and play. He would meet with students at the Virgina Beach GameOn Gaming Center, and simply hang out and play them in various games. 

Tillett noted that at “first, it was just a hangout, but then we started making teams.” This is when he got the idea of forming official teams. He said that “Almost every college in the 757 has esports,” so it was good timing for Regent to pick up the highly demanded sport. After review, it was decided that the esports group would be a club because Regent was not looking to add more to the athletic department at that time. GameOn Gaming Center sponsored the club and helped them purchase uniforms. 

Their first competition was playing the game called “Overwatch.” At that time, the club was small and new. However, it has since grown to include over seventy active student members who compete in five different games: Overwatch, Fortnite, League of Legends, Smash Bros, and Valorant. Students are able to cross between games, so they are not limited to playing only one game. 

“Our biggest win is [when] we beat Liberty…in our first year of playing,” said Tillett, which was a huge accomplishment for the participants of the esports team. Tillett believes that much of the success and growth of the team is because they were able to continue practicing over the past two years, despite COVID-19 regulations, since an esports team can practice both online and in-person. 

The Regent esports club has provided a great way for students to connect with other gaming enthusiasts and enhance their computer skills. “It’s all about coming together, having fun, and learning,” Tillett shared. “There’s team-building, there’s strategy; it’s not just about playing video games. [Players] use a ton of skills that they can use in the real world.” 

Since many club members have graduated, Tillett is looking to recruit more Regent students who have a passion for computer gaming. Tryouts are currently being held for various games, and students are encouraged to join and participate. The team practices together about ten hours a week, and team members do individual training as well. If you are interested or want to learn more, please reach out to Tillett at nathtil@mail.regent.edu.

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Carlee MacPherson

Carlee MacPherson is a department head for The Daily Runner.