UNA Esports Holds Record-Breaking Tryout for the 2022-2023 School Year

Noah Catchings, Sports Editor

The UNA Esports team had a record-breaking number of students try out for the 2022-2023 season from Aug. 24 through Aug. 26. 

The team held tryouts  in the newly renovated Esports Facility in Covington Hall where 75 students tried out amongst the games “League of Legends,” “Super Smash Bros,” “Rocket League” and “Valorant.” They also founded a “Rainbow Six Siege” team for this year as well. Next semester, Esports will be introducing a “Halo” team in the spring semester. 

Considering the Esports team acquired  this many people before the tryouts for their two most popular games “Overwatch” and “Call of Duty,” these numbers show an increased interest in Esports on campus. 

Esports has yet to hold these tryouts since “Overwatch 2” and “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2” have yet to be released. “Overwatch 2” is expected to be released on Oct. 4, 2022. “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2” is expected to be released on Oct. 28, 2022. Tryouts for these teams will occur shortly after the release of these games.

Esports captains expect even more people to join the Esports team when these games are released, which will add to the record-breaking number of people trying out for Esports.

Amongst the teams, Esports has three teams for “Rocket League,” ten people for “League of Legends,” five people for “Rainbow Six Siege,” and fifteen people for “Super Smash Bros.” 

In the past, UNA Esports has made notable achievements. In the spring of 2021, they won a division championship, and each player won a ring. These rings were manufactured from Baron rings, which is the same manufacturer that crafted the Cleveland Cavaliers championship rings in 2016. 

Former President of UNA Esports Zane Mooney graduated in May.  Now,  Jaiden Garner has become the new  UNA Esports president for the 2022-2023 school year. He has high hopes for this semester with the new members joining and new games being released soon. 

“With me stepping into the role as President this year, I look forward to seeing what all our amazing teams can accomplish this year,” Garner said. “Hopefully by this time next year we’ll be talking about a couple more championships under our belt!”

Aside from the teams, the Esports facility has undergone changes. They rearranged the facility and set up new TVs, monitors and computers. 

They also have new jerseys for the 2022-2023 school year:they are purple with black accents and have the UNA Esports logo on the upper right, sponsors on the sleeves and back and the players’ Gamertag on the back of the jersey. Students who are a part of this organization will wear the jerseys  during tournaments, as well as around campus.

UNA Esports has a community for everyone who loves all kinds of games. They have a discord for anyone interested to join and they can talk to 300+ students, 50+ alumni and a few staff members. However, the community is not only for competitive gamers. They accept anyone who loves any kind of games from tabletop games to card games.. They also host a Minecraft server free to anyone who would like to join and connect with members over the video game. The information for the Minecraft server can be found via the discord link. 

“North Alabama Gaming is open to all, not just competitive gamers,” Mooney said.“We have many sub-communities that are interested in all types of games, casual and competitive. You can find an amazing group of people here!”