MSU Esports clubs host charity livestream in wake of shooting

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Esports facility in MSU Communications Arts and Science Building.

Lauretta Sha

A video game display within the Communication Arts and Sciences building on MSU campus. Students can be seen in the background of the display.

On Feb. 29, a charity livestream was hosted by the MSU Esports Club Association with the aim of raising money for the Spartan Strong Fund.

In the wake of the Feb. 13 shooting, campus staff and campus students organized in support of the victims of the shooting, from a rally supporting gun control to creating a variety of online fundraisers dedicated to those impacted by the shooting.

One such event was created after the return to classes, where the campus was shut down as to allow students and faculty a chance to heal after the event.

The event was a 24-hour-long livestream hosted by the MSU Esports Club Association, where members commentated on matches and showcased several small tournaments set up across different esport games.  The livestream was done on the association’s Twitch channel, which can be found here.

Esports is a relatively new form of competition compared to sports like wrestling and soccer, and is usually done through various video games where players compete against each other, either alone or with teammates depending on the game itself.

In the late 2000s, competitive video gaming became an industry where professional players could compete to win large amounts of money and fame.  According to Forbes, in 2019, the global revenue of Esports reached 1 billion dollars, and was expected to 2.3 billion dollars within the next three years.

The MSU Esports Club Association is a collection of various video game clubs with a focus on competition, such as the MSU Overwatch club and the MSU Super Smash Bros Club, and they assist in giving support to club members when the clubs take part in tournaments, such as promotion of events and hosting tournaments themselves.

Promotion of events include college esports tournaments, where different esport college teams compete against one another.  The association will often livestream different MSU teams, and commentate on plays made during the game.

A side entrance of the Communication Arts and Sciences building, where the livestream took place.

Kiley is the art director of the MSU Overwatch club, and appeared on the stream to commentate on the MSU Overwatch team’s gameplay.

“It was kinda a spur of the moment stream, but the fact we made more money for the Spartan Strong Fund than we thought would be possible… I cannot even put into words how amazing that is.” Kiley said. “I loved watching the interaction between the different clubs.”

Max DaSilva is the broadcast manager for the MSU Esports association, who also appeared on stream for commentary purposes, and worked the crew as the stream was ongoing.

“I think it was ridiculously successful! We raised over $3000 in stream donations alone for the Spartan Strong fund. Planning and setup did have a few hiccups, as it was last minute. But overall, it was relatively straightforwards.”

When asked about future streams, DaSilva mentioned that “[ECA] have tons of streams planned for the future!”  

Kiley expressed a similar sentiment. “I created the stream scenes for the charity stream, meaning the intro screens/animation and the [be right back] screens/animation. I am hoping to do more work like that with other clubs that are a part of ECA.”

“I think doing streams for similar causes is a way for MSU Esports Club Association to really make a mark.”

Viewers of the stream could donate money for the fund, while home tournaments – tournaments where the only competitors were from clubs themselves – required an entry fee for participation.  Overall, the event raised around three thousand dollars, all of which was donated to the Spartan Strong fund. 

The Spartan Strong Fund website says that it was “created to provide support for the evolving needs of the individuals most critically impacted.”  While the medical bills for victims are being paid for by the university, the funds are being used for campus counseling services for both students and staff, and to recognize first responders to the shooting scene.

Further donations to the fund can be done through the Spartan Strong fund’s website, found here.

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