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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Esports team prepares for new season after tryouts

The Wichita State esports team is hoping for a successful season after holding tryouts last month. The team wants to climb the ranks of collegiate esports while strengthening the bonds between members.

The team consists of five game teams: “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II,” “Overwatch 2,” “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” and “Valorant.” They compete in various online and in-person tournaments against other collegiate players.

According to junior Jason Nguyen, who serves as the captain of the varsity “Valorant” team, esports is an activity that requires lots of teamwork. During tryouts, Nguyen said the whole team looks for players with more than gaming skills.

“We just put them in a team environment and saw how they operated with a team and looked at the pluses and minuses of everybody,” Nguyen said. “Yes, skill is a big factor, but what we were ultimately looking for was a good attitude and a nice person overall.”

Similarly, senior Peyton Linn, who serves as the captain of the “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” team, explained it takes more than just talent to make the team.

“First and foremost, obviously, the thing we look at is, ‘How good are they at the game?’” Linn said. “The other really big factors are, ‘Are they a coachable individual? Do we think that there could be a lot of improvement for them? How well do they fit?’”

One person who the team felt fit their criteria well is freshman Xavier Billings, who recently joined the “Super Smash Bros.” team. After participating in tryouts, Billings said he was surprised to learn that he made the team.

“I was pretty excited to meet a bunch of people that like ‘Smash Bros.’ because I didn’t know a ton of people who still really played that game much,” Billings said. “I was just really excited to be quite honest. I was like, ‘Wait, what? This is not happening.’”

Billings hopes to improve his playing skills during his time on the team. The freshman said he admires the team’s dynamic.

“Obviously, I’m new to it, but all the people who have been on the team for a while seem to know each other really well,” Billings said. “We (new members) are trying to catch up in skill level to the varsity team so that we can eventually do the varsity side of it in the upcoming years.”

Nguyen thinks his team has what it takes to succeed.

“Our goals are very big this year,” Nguyen said. “We have a fresh start, especially from last semester, (which) wasn’t too good, but this semester I have high hopes. We hope to win.”

Nguyen said he hopes to be at least top 10 in the collegiate scene for Valorant. 

Anyone can support the esports team this season by streaming their matches. Details for their matches can be found by following @esportswsu on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok.

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About the Contributors
Avery Gathright
Avery Gathright, Reporter
Avery Gathright is a first-year reporter for The Sunflower. Gathright is a secondary education major with an emphasis in English. She hopes to eventually teach AP Literature. Gathright uses she/her pronouns.
Mia Hennen
Mia Hennen, Editor in Chief
Mia Hennen is the current editor in chief for The Sunflower. Before becoming editor, Hennen was the news/managing editor. They are a junior at Wichita State majoring in English and minoring in communications and Spanish, hoping to pursue any career involving writing or editing.

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