UConn Gaming Club brings gamers together

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UConn Gaming Club (UCGC) manages to stay connected with its 1,200 members and host online events despite students remaining at home for the rest of the semester.

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[The club’s ultimate goal] is to create a place at UConn where competitive and [casual] gamers alike can come together and form a welcoming community for anyone who has a passion for video games.
— Devyn Lowry, UCGC President

According to UCGC president Devyn Lowry, the club has hosted online community nights in an effort to keep members active and connected with each other. In the past two weeks, Lowry has hosted movie nights over the live streaming software Kast and plans to have a game night where members play various Jackbox party games.

Lowry, an eighth-semester digital media and design major, mentioned that the club’s biggest plan currently is to reconstruct Gampel Pavilion, or some part of it, in “Minecraft” and subsequently host commencement in the game. He mentioned this was the club’s plan of trying to give back to the community, especially to graduating UConn seniors. At the moment, the club is trying to figure out the servers that it will take place in and the mods needed for the project.

“We have a team of builders working very hard to get [Gampel] reconstructed,” Lowry said.

During a normal semester, UCGC hosts meetings from 6 to 11 p.m. in the School of Business. The club books up to four different rooms; they set up roughly four PCs for a free-play area or host a small tournament in the main lecture hall, and the smaller rooms are for games with bigger communities like League of Legends or Super Smash Bros. Lowry said that the largest community of players is for Super Smash Bros., mentioning that the game brings in 50 to 60 people each week as they play in one-versus-one or two-versus-two matches.

Lowry said the club’s ultimate goal is “to create a place at UConn where competitive and [casual] gamers alike can come together and form a welcoming community for anyone who has a passion for video games.”

UCGC also has competitive esports teams for games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League. One of the club’s goals is to have an esports program that is officially recognized by the university. Lowry cited other universities like Ohio State University and Northeastern University that have official esports programs. 

“There’s no reason why we can’t take what we’ve done for college basketball and become the staple for collegiate esports,” Lowry said.

The club’s biggest events of the year are the Husky Games and the Winter Prowl, the former of which would have taken place at the end of spring. The Husky Games is an 11-hour event that brings anywhere between 500 to 700 people to the Student Union Ballroom. University students and alumni are able to form teams and compete for various prizes like mice, keyboards, graphics cards, headsets and more that are donated from sponsors. Some of the sponsors of the event include Nvidia, iBUYPOWER, Microsoft, Logitech and HyperX. 

“Everyone’s coming and enjoying and sharing the love for video games,” Lowry said. 

UCGC can be reached at their Discord server at discord.gg/ucgc or @uconngamingclub on Instagram or Twitter.

Thumbnail image courtesy of @uconngamingclub Twitter.

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Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at brandon.barzola@uconn.edu

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