SWOSU Esports Tryouts Held Early in Semester

The SWOSU Esports program returned this school year, and some changes have been made to the program. One of the more prominent changes was the addition of Valorant.

Valorant was the latest addition to the game lineup for SWOSU, and they took League of Legends out of the lineup.

“Although we have some students that play League of Legends, the community was small and most of our league players wanted to start playing Valorant,” Hayden Harrington, director of SWOSU Esports, said. “SWOSU also has a larger Valorant community than League of Legends community, so it just seemed like the better call and so far, I am very happy with the decision.”

Harrington was responsible for organizing multiple tryouts for each game and coordinating the coaches’ and students’ schedules.

“Two main things are communication and time management,” Harrington said. “I have to coordinate with my coaches when they will be able to do tryouts and based off that is when we will have them.”

Harrington continued saying that the tryouts for this year were great.

“We had more players this year for each game than we did in the previous seasons,” Harrington said. “I hate turning people away as I know we could help them develop their skills in each game, but we can’t take everyone.”

Tanner McMullin, aka “Not_Epic,” is excited to return as the team captain. He takes pride in his team and believes they can have a special season.

“I’m actually very excited about our team,” McMulling said. “I think we have a very good roster and can definitely make a name for ourselves this season. Everyone has been working hard and it is showing.”

“I am just very excited in general for SWOSU Esports,” Harrington said. “This is our second to be competing and with the hiring of our two new coaches, I think we will be even more of a threat in esports this upcoming season.”

Harrington also coaches the Super Smash Bros, where he held tryouts for their new season.

“We had two tryouts, and both had around 15-25 students show up for each one which gave us enough people for two teams,” Harrington said. He also mentioned that a freshman, MrDraco, gave the veterans “a run for their money” in tryouts.

Harrington said that his philosophy at tryouts goes beyond skills, but they also take a close look at mannerisms after a game ends, to ensure there’s no bad attitudes.

“I feel very confident in the teams this year,” Harrington said. “We have added some new players that took over some starting positions and they have meshed with the rest of the team with no problem at all.”

The Valorant tryouts were held by Coach Felder “Karnage.”

Felder also coaches the Call of Duty Esports team, and that’s part of the reason he was selected to coach Valorant. Call of Duty tryouts will be held after the release of Modern Warfare 2, the franchises newest game.

16 players attended the Valorant tryouts.

“After seeing the turn out for tryouts and the team we have now, we feel not only as a program, but I have heard from other programs, we have one of the best collegiate teams in Oklahoma right now,” Felder said.

Felder is confident, because during tryouts, many of his players were high ranking in the game overall, which is a good sign of their skill.

“Our rosters. not only when you compare them on paper to other collegiate Valorant teams but also when you see the team play live in the arena or on our Twitch stream, speak for themselves,” Felder said.

“SWOSU Esports has SWOSU Blue, which is our first team with our top players in the Esports program and our students who get scholarships for esports, SWOSU Grey is our second team which is very close in rank in comparison to SWOSU Blue,” Felder said.

Felder wanted to have a second team to let the players not on the first team get solid reps. He also stated that he was analyzing tryouts beyond the game. He mentioned the fact that skill did matter to him, but if they did not communicate well or had bad body language, they’d have less of a chance to make first team.

“My expectations for SWOSU Valorant are to win OACE and win the Red Bull Campus Clutch event which is an event Red Bull is hosting for collegiate Valorant teams,” Felder said.