With over 450 members, the League of Legends club is the largest on campus and provides a home away from home for many students on the CSU campus.
LOL is an online game where teams of players get together and try to capture the forts of other teams.
“It’s kind of like chess in that it’s a game of strategy – it’s mostly all strategy, but it’s also teamwork too cause you have to work with your team to accomplish objectives,” said Alex Ganivet, freshman civil engineering major and member of the club.
James Rogers started the club in September 2012.
“I attended an event over in Seattle and seeing the community for the game there I felt like it was something we were missing here and that I could help start it,” Rogers said.
The club meets a few times a semester for tournaments and Local Area Networks where they play the game all day. Roughly 100 members attend each event.
At LANs, players are split up into two different tournaments depending on their skill level. Rogers said this is so the less experienced players can avoid being crushed.
“The LANs that we do are super fun because there are a lot of people and everyone gets really into it, it lasts for like 12 hours,” said Zach Andrews, a junior computer science major and member of the LOL club. “Way too long, but it’s really fun.”
Some members think the LANs are so fun they stay all night, even after being eliminated from the tournament. According to Rogers, members often stay as late as 3 a.m. to cheer on the finalists.
“It’s pretty awesome to see how many people care,” Rogers said.
Members bring their computers to the events in order to play in the tournaments. Ganivet said the players’ dedication to the game is evident when they attend LANs.
“Most of them had laptops, but you can see some of the very dedicated people had the desktops and it wasn’t the simple cheap ones, it was like the hard-core gaming desktops,” Ganivet said.
According to Rogers, the club grew so fast because of the popularity of the game LOL.
Ganivet said he first got involved in the game in his senior year of high school. Most members get involved around this time and are seasoned players by the time they join the club.
Members that want to improve their skills can join the mentoring program.
“It’s really hard at first, but once you get it and once you understand how to play it, it’s really addicting,” Ganivet said. ”It’s a really close-knit group cause most of those people, they’ve been playing for quite a while so they know how it works.”
Riot, the maker of the game, sponsors LANs by providing prizes and raffle items. One popular raffle item is the Teemo hat.
“Now like half of our club probably has hats that they wear,” Andrews said.
Teemo hats mimic the shape of a turtle shell and include spikes on top. This is their team uniform and members are encouraged to wear them at every event.
“It’s like an explorer hat…you know pith helmets, it’s kinda like one of those but green and has little ears coming out of it and goggles,” said Adam Lynch, an officer for the LOL club.
“It’s a cute ferocious turtle,” Andrews said.
LOL is not only considered a video game, but also a sport. The club has a team of players who participate in tournaments in a collegiate league with teams all over the country.
“It’s just talented individuals in the group,” Lynch said. “I had tryouts a few weeks ago.”
According to Lynch, the teams all play in tournaments over the Internet, with the finals held in Los Angeles.
“Our philosophy, with the tournaments at least, is that they’re more for fun,” Rogers said. “I know a lot of people who have become pretty good friends with people they have been teamed with and got acquainted with.”
A lot of people join the club to make friends and find community. For students like Ganivet, community is one of the reasons he stuck around.
“It’s just a really good feeling to know that you’re not alone in this world, there’s a whole community dedicated to this game.”
The next League of Legends LAN will take place in Ingersoll hall this Saturday at 2 p.m.
Collegian Staff Writer Amber Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.