Nevada has an Esports club

Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 9:29 AM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - There’s an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.

“It’s a lot of fun, and I enjoy the people I play with,” said Joshua Lee, a senior majoring in chemical engineering.

“I’ve gotten to know a lot of really great people,” added Thane Houghton, the Overwatch team captain. “I’d say life-long friends.”

There's an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.
There's an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.(kolo)

Nevada Esports competes in a wide-variety of games against other colleges around the country.

“Anyone can join,” said Maxwell Rustin, a senior majoring in English. “We have multiple teams within each game; regardless of skill level. It’s open to all Nevada students.”

The club first started back in 2004 in a grass-roots sort of way, with a few interested gamers meeting on Friday nights at the library. It’s grown to roughly 50 members; a group now recognized by the Mountain West, who annually compete for conference championships.

“Every game is sort of its own thing,” explained Doug Bookey, the team’s faculty advisor. “Like football, baseball and basketball we compete for titles in different games.”

Nevada won the 2020 Mountain West Championship in League of Legends, beating some other schools in the conference that have more funding and even offer scholarships. Some rival schools have designated labs for practice, while Nevada mainly has to do distance-gaming from their own homes. And a lot of the team members have never even met each other in-person.

There's an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.
There's an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.(kolo)

“You lose that bit of a personal aspect because you’re online, you’re not face to face, you’re not with someone,” admitted Rustin. “But I feel like it’s made up with from each other’s passion for the games, because you’re still getting that community aspect. You’re still talking through voice, through text. And practicing some long hours.”

Nevada won the national Genshin Impact Tournament in October, beating schools like Rutgers and UCLA. And the hope is their success will lead to some institutional changes.

“We need to build curriculum around this,” said Bookey. “You have Esports broadcasting, you have business management. You have marketing for Esports, you have coding for Esports. So the careers that are happening now in traditional broadcasting and in other areas and traditional sports, are the same for Esports.”

In fact, the club has already led to a few former members getting jobs after they finished their degree.

There's an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.
There's an Esports club up on the Nevada campus.(kolo)

“We’ve got plenty of people who are alumni of this club specifically, who went on to work for gaming companies,” added Bookey. “People that made these contacts through this club.”

Even if it’s just for the thrill of gaming, this club is making a difference in these student’s lives.

“It’s been a big exercize in teamwork and communication,” explained Houghton. “It’s taught me a lot about how to manage and work with people, how to coordinate practice matches with my teammates. And how to schedule with other colleges and schools.”

“It’s fun meeting new people and getting to know them,” added Lee. “Because it’s just fun at the end of the day.”

You can get more information on Nevada Esports by going to