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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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A&M gamers look to bring home $150,000 

League Of Legends
Tim Lai
League Of Legends
Five Texas A&M students could find their pockets $30,000 heavier after this weekend, simply through playing a video game.
The Texas A&M League of Legends collegiate team will square off in the next stage of a tournament this weekend in hopes of winning $150,000.
League of Legends is a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA, that launched in 2009 and currently nets over 27 million players daily.
This year Riot Games, the developers of League of Legends, sponsored the collegiate league spanning across the U.S. and Canada that the Aggies will participate in this weekend.
Trent Jones, economics senior and A&M team captain, said the tournament began last semester and consists of several different championships necessary to reach the finals, which are held in Los Angeles. 

Jones said if the A&M team wins the South Division round robin, the team would move on to another round robin against the three teams that won in the other divisions. 

“We’re excited because we get to represent A&M and I think it will make a big splash,” Jones said. “Especially if we get to final four, where everyone will see A&M’s banner versus these three other schools. It could be pretty exciting.”

Reid Towart, engineering senior and player on the team, said League of Legends is a unique genre of a video game.

“It’s a five-on-five game where the objective is to destroy an enemy’s base,” Towart said. “But in order to do that you need to kill the opposing team multiple times and kill objectives to make your team stronger and win the game. It’s one of those games where its only about 60 percent mechanical skill and the rest is strategy, which is where the team play comes into it.”

Steve-O Callaghan, English senior and the team’s coach, said Basketball was a good analogy to describe the game. Callaghan said there are five members on the team, each with a specific area of expertise.

Callaghan said that communication, while vital, poses an interesting problem because of the online component of the game.

“If you’re on a basketball court, and I want to talk to you, I could look at you and talk to you. And if I want to talk to Trent, I could turn to him and talk to him and there is less overlap,” Callaghan said. “But when you are using Skype or any other sort of voice software it’s a flat plane and everyone is on the same ground, it’s sort of a challenging environment to communicate in.”

Communication difficulties coupled with poor Internet connection makes the game more difficult, said Jones.

“Imagine you are at a basketball practice and the team is practicing and two guys shoes break and they don’t have shoes,” Jones said. “It’s like, what are we supposed to do? These two guys, they aren’t going to play. They are going to fall all over the place in their socks, and they aren’t going to practice. And the other guys lose out because of it.”

Jones said professional teams have shown interest in drafting him and his teammates.

“I really want to perform in this college tournament,” Jones said. “And if I do incredibly well and people actually think I’m a prospect I’ll consider it, but I’ve gotten offers from amateur teams that I’ve turned down.”

While Jones said the attention is great, the general consensus among the team is that such offers are too time consuming. Jones  said the team values their higher education too much.

For now, Towart said the team is aiming to win the South Division first and foremost.

“The biggest thing is to make it there,” Towart said. “‘Cause if you make it to the event, even if you come 4th place it’s $7.5 thousand per person, so that’s our goal right now, just to qualify. But once we make it there, we’re going to shoot for first.” 

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  • League Of Legends

    Tim Lai
  • The Texas A&M League of Legends collegiate team — including Reid Towart, Grant Hewitt and Trent Jones — trains before competing in a Riot Games collegiate tournament this weekend. 

    Tim Lai
  • Peter Luft, Grant Hewitt, Joey Bowers, Reid Towart, Steve-o Callaghan and Trent Jones discuss strategy for the competition.

    Tim Lai
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