The Buckeye Gaming Collective annouces two intramural leagues on Sept. 16. Credit: Courtesy of The Buckeye Gaming Collective

Intramurals at Ohio State will soon expand beyond the field and into an online space. 

The Buckeye Gaming Collective announced Monday it will start intramural leagues, independent of the Ohio State Office of Recreational Sports, for “Rocket League” and “League of Legends.”

Players will be able to sign up online in the next week and a half as either a full group or solo player, who will then be matched with others needing teams. It’s free to join.

“The intramural concept and the intramural model just works for college,” Kenneth Kresina, community manager for the BGC, said. “It’s a lot easier to play one hour a week as opposed to one weekend.” 

Some competitions — such as the Harrisburg University Esports Invitational, in which the BGC will participate this weekend — require players to travel. This new model will allow remote competition for shorter periods of time at the convenience of players, Kresina said. 

The leagues will be called BuckIRL and BuckILoL, standing for “Buckeye Intramural Rocket League” and “Buckeye Intramural League of Legends,” respectively. The games were selected because they are two of the more popular games among the BGC’s player base, Jimmy Bauer, president of the BGC, said.

As for the intramural league format, teams will be matched against one other squad per week. Beginning in the second week, teams with similar win and loss records will be matched with each other to ensure closer games.

“It’s what’s called a Swiss-style format. The effective big picture is that teams that continue winning will get matched with teams that continue winning, and teams that continue losing are going to get paired with teams that continue losing,” Kresina said. 

The idea of a video game intramural was partially inspired by Iowa State’s intramural “Rocket League,” Bauer said. 

In spring 2019, Iowa State had over 450 people sign up to play once a week from the comfort of their own dorms, Bauer said. At both schools, people can play each other across different consoles on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch. 

For players worried about the difficulty of these leagues, Kresina said anyone who is on a club team, or will eventually be on a university team, will not be allowed to join the league for the game they specialize in.

“The goal is to try and let anyone who wants to play in a semicompetitive format a chance to play,” Kresina said. “That’s what we’re trying to offer with BuckIRL and BuckILoL. The ultimate goal is to either be able to sit down with your friends and team up in a more competitive setting, or sign up as a free agent and find new people to meet, to play with, to hang out.”