UAlbany esports a big hit with students

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ALBANY, N.Y (NEWS10)- There is no shortage of interest in UAlbany’s esports team, beginning its third year in the fall. There’s also no shortage of enthusiasm from Coach Michael Leczinsky.

UAlbany’s esports team began competing in 2019. They spent a year and a half meeting and competing remotely, shortly after beginning their first season during the COVID pandemic. Coach Leczinsky said a return to in-person practice and competition this year is an exciting prospect.

NEWS10 caught up with Leczinsky Thursday and asked him what’s next for the UAlbany esports team.

The team is looking forward to competing again in the fall. They have also received the applications of 500 students who want to play for the team.

Similar to other collegiate sports, Leczinsky said UAlbany’s esports team focuses on improving its player’s skills, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and playing at a level that allows them to win against other colleges.

Unlike other teams, the esports team is co-ed with much thought given on how to be inclusive. Something that Coach Leczinsky said is an important part of what is promoted through not only the esports team but also through the Informatics Department and entire college.

“In our game design class, one of the most rewarding things for me as an instructor is seeing our students create games and share their voice, share their vision, and really be able to utilize the tools to be able to create things that are of interest and are relevant to them, given their background and their perspectives. So it’s very empowering as an instructor to be able to help our students share their voice and share their perspective,” he said.

The college also has its own Discord and has a weekly game night when anyone from the college can join in online gaming.

Leczinsky said he sees the esports team continuing to grow. His hope is for the team to be able to expand its membership and for esports to one day inspire the same excitement as more traditional sports.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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