A new video game league will give Ohio State students a competitive gaming experience without the intense atmosphere of esports.
The Buckeye Gaming Collective opened spring semester registration for two intramural gaming leagues, BuckIRL and BuckILoL — “Rocket League” and “League of Legends” — Feb. 6. Each league will host one tournament this semester with weekly online matches, culminating in an in-person grand final in April. Registration for BuckIRL will close Feb. 24. Registration for BuckILoL will close Feb. 21.
BGC is a student organization dedicated to fostering community among Ohio State gamers and generating interest in esports at the university, according to the group’s constitution.
The purpose of the leagues is to create a place for people to make connections and enjoy the fun of competitive gaming, Jimmy Bauer, a fifth-year in computer science and the club’s president, said.
“Forming a team with other Ohio State students and playing out a season does a really good job at making friends with an interest in gaming that you otherwise might not have,” Bauer said. “Similar to traditional intramural sports, a lot of people already play these games on their own, and I think the idea of intramurals are really good — especially in a collegiate environment — because we have such a large student body that people have trouble forming connections with others.”
Players can join as individuals or in teams, Kenneth Kresina, a second-year in astronomy and astrophysics and the club’s director of public relations, said. Teams can have up to two additional players as substitutes in case members cannot participate in a game. This means a “Rocket League” team may consist of three to five players, and a “League of Legends” roster can have five to seven.
Kresina added that individuals will be grouped with one another based on preferred positions.
The league will be formatted in such a way that every team will play once a week. To level the playing field, teams’ win and loss records will see them matched up with other teams of similar skill level, Kresina said.
“We use what’s called a Swiss-system tournament format. Basically, if you keep winning matches, you will be paired up against teams that also keep winning matches and vice versa,” Kresina said. “The general skill disparity begins to balance out and even out, so matches will get closer and closer as the league progresses.”
Final scheduling will happen once registration ends; however, Kresina said each team will play a minimum of five matches. The standings will see the final four teams compete in a knockout-style playoff.
For anyone unsure about joining, Bauer said there is a diverse skill-level among the leagues’ competitors.
“You’re definitely good enough to play,” Bauer said. “The Swiss-system format is good in the fact that you’ll play teams in a similar skill bracket. You don’t know how much fun you’re going to have if you don’t try.”
Although each game has a set time, Kresina said members can enjoy the luxury of competing from the comfort of their homes. The only game that will take place in person is the grand final. The location of the final has not yet been decided.
BuckIRL matches will be held at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and BuckILoL matches will be held at 7 p.m. Sundays.
Interested players should join the Buckeye Gaming Collective discord server at discord.gg/ohiostate. It is free to join and open to any Ohio State student.