A Home for Gamers

Tayler Critchlow

“What if this could be a thing? You know, for all of campus.”
The idea of eSports originated when Kevin Williams, the owner and executive director of Southern Collegiate Gaming Association (SCG), and his friend were sitting around the table eating. They started discussing the need for an outlet for those who wanted to play video games in a safe environment.
eSports, or electronic sports, are games that incorporate real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooting, and multiplayer online battle arenas. Popular eSports games include League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Call of Duty.
SCG started as Chi Alpha, a ministry outreach group, that slowly transpired into creating a community for gamers about four or five years ago. The group became official roughly two and a half years ago.
“I think the organization is a good way to get people of like minds and like vision to work under one banner and game and develop community within the group,” Dr. Christopher Leveritt, mentor and friend to SCG, said.
One of the main foundations of the organization is fostering community through holistic development of students by challenging them mentally, physically, and spiritually.

“It’s basically about growing. We say students, but it’s about growing everyone in the community because so many people come together and work together and we’re just a bunch of gamers and that’s kind of like a coincidence,” Jeffrey Wright, SCG president, said.

Along with growing, the students are taught how to speak to people in both structural and instructional settings, such as during practices and strategy sessions.
“We are more than just about being good at this game, we are about developing people into productive citizens and also productive teammates that can go out into the working world and use all the skills that they’ve got from SCG to better whatever company they are in and to help develop others as well,” DJ Hart, League of Legends team captain, said.
On top of community building and social skills that the gamers build, there’s also money that could be won.
There’s a pot for the championship consisting of thousands of dollars that first, second and third place divide among themselves. The top thirty teams receive $5,000 scholarships, Williams and Matt Frantz, a member and student director of marketing for SCG said.
Within the past two years, the SCG has bought a house in downtown Statesboro that houses nine of the competitive team players. This allows the players easy access to the fiber optic gaming system supporting the house and each other for strategizing and practices.
“It’s amazing here, we just have that kind of community,” Hart said.
This was previously published in the Spring 2016 Reflector. Visit our Issuu page to view the digital copy of the magazine.
Photos by Cristen Gullatt