WVU Sports Club Federation removed the League of Legends Club and denied membership to the Collegiate Gaming Club during its meeting this week.
The loss of funding means the League of Legends club, an online gaming group, will have to raise its own funds.
“It presents more work overall and more time that we have to commit to fundraising, some of which most of our members don’t have,” said Michael Cox, president of League of Legends.“Having the backing of Club Sports… it’s a big disappointment to lose that reputation behind it.”
The loss of federation membership will also make it harder for the League of Legends to arrange lodging for tournaments and computer lab rentals for gaming.
Jeremiah Parsons, a member of the Sports Club Federation said the federation is moving away from e-sports.
“WVU Sports Club Federation is removing e-sports due to our perspective of what a sport is,” he said. “We have also considered the factors of little to no oversight of the club due to the type of activity they are, and we also have considered how many members compared to how many actually compete in the club.”
The gaming club was formed in August 2016 and is a community of gamers who represent WVU in online tournaments such as Hearthstone or Overwatch, according to club president Ryan Simms.
“We have around 150 members,” Simms said. “That doesn’t mean we have an active roster of 150 members. We have a community aspect and a competitive aspect. Not everybody is able to compete at the collegiate level. Some people just have other priorities or they’re not really into the competitive side.”
Simms explained that they have competitive teams for the Hearthstone and Overwatch games.
One Hearthstone player, Joe Arrigo, a sophomore chemical engineering student, was selected to compete in AfreecaTV Collegiate Cup hosted by Washington University. Only eight universities were selected to compete in the tournament.
Doug Ernest, athletic counselor for Student Government Association, supported the Collegiate Gaming Club joining the federation. He wrote the SGA resolution in support of the motion.
“I think eSports are a pretty cool asset to the University. Some people might not consider them a real sport, but I think that they add a lot of value to it. It’s a great demographic that the sports club federation can potentially tap into and it would paint a better light for WVU.”
The Collegiate Gaming Club will not let the vote slow them down, Simms said. They will continue to hold gaming events and participate in online tournaments, while pursuing funding in other areas for events.
“We’re all incredibly driven and we’re going to be working our butts off to provide nothing but the best for our community,” Simms said.