OSU Esports provides “fun, competitive environment” for student gamers


Duane Knapp

Members of the JV Valorant team (left) Ahmed “Ryoshi Ji” Moussaoui, Adam “A Micro Rod “ Rodriguez, Adam “WowWowDogs” Steiner, Nicholas “Anju” Kimberly, and Alan “Yawn” Truong (not pictured) posing after their spotlight interviews on Sunday in the MU. The team appears calm, despite having a match in less than an hour.

Haley Stark, Sports Contributor

With six semi-professional teams and over 1,200 members on its Discord channel, Oregon State University’s Esports Club is one of the largest organizations on campus. 

Competing in popular games such as Valorant, Overwatch, and League of League, the club allows players to build a community around their shared interest in gaming.

According to Esports Club President, Russell Owen, his goal is to give players like himself the opportunity to enter the world of professional gaming while attending university. 

Owen assumed his position as president in the Spring of 2022 after three years with the club, primarily as an Overwatch player. He now captains the Varsity Valorant team, which competes on a national level in events like the Collegiate Valorant League, Collegiate Esports Commissioners Cup, and the National Association of Collegiate Esports.

The pro teams at OSU have earned over $5,000 in tournament winnings, making the club more than just a hobby for its members. 

Freshman marketing major, Carter Kirnan, is a new member of the club’s League of Legends team, having joined this past fall on the recommendation of one of his professors. 

Like many of the club’s members, Kirnan has had an interest in gaming from a young age and came into OSU Esports “looking for a fun, competitive environment” where he could make friends and pass time.

To make an OSU Esports Club team, Kirnan and other hopefuls go through a tryout process over Discord. 

According to Parker Walters, a member of the Varsity Valorant team, potential players compete against each other over several days until team captains and other members decide on who takes the open roster spot. 

Though roster spots for competitive teams are currently full, Owen says there are still ways to get involved with OSU Esports.

“We support people who just want to hang out and play games, and we support people who are more into journalism and media,” Owen said. “You know, a big part of Esports is, just like traditional sports, the broadcast, the media, the fire tweets, all that good stuff.” 

Walters also described how the club creates a sense of community for all its members, no matter their skill level or experience.

“While I found my community being on one of the competitive rosters, there are also plenty of community events put out by the club,” Walters said. “There’s usually one put out each week or so and there are loads of people from other parts of the club wanting to have a fun night of gaming. It’s just another great way to meet people with similar gaming interests as well as people that may be competing on some of the other rosters.”

For more information about the OSU Esports Club, visit their website at https://osuesports.gg/.