January 24, 2022

ASU Esports club is about more than gaming

Did you know that the esports community at ASU consists of over 2,000 members? 

That’s right! The ASU Esports Association is one of the largest student-run clubs on campus. 

ASU Esports allows Sun Devils to learn and play various games, meet and foster friendships and get involved. And Sun Devils can join from anywhere. 

According to Claire Kenison, a senior studying data analytics and economics and president of ASU Esports, the association has over 20 competitive teams. 

Teams play games such as League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch, Call of Duty, Rainbow Six Siege and more. 

For Kenison, her journey in the esports community started at ASU. Before becoming a Sun Devil, Kenison was a student athlete at the University of Connecticut, where she was a competitive rower. 

Kenison discovered she had a genetic disability that caused her joints to dislocate. Due to her disability Kenison was no longer able to row. Around the same time that Kenison stopped rowing, her parents decided to move to Arizona. Kenison saw an opportunity to start anew and moved with her parents. Once she moved she enrolled at ASU, where she discovered the Esports club.

“I've always been a video game person. And I'm also a very competitive person. So I found esports to be a good outlet. I didn't have to dislocate my joints in order to compete, and I could still be satisfied,” Kenison said. 

Kenison first joined the esports community as a player for the Overwatch team. She moved up the ranks as a player for two years. After two years she became interested in other roles in the community and took the events director position. Kenison enjoyed being the events director and decided to once again work her way up.

“I did all of our tournaments, did all of our watch parties and LANs and then became vice president and now president,” Kenison said. 

“I'm basically the athletic director for esports. I have to wear so many hats,” Kenison said. 

As president, Kenison works to manage the club and its members. Every esports team is different, which means that each team needs to be managed differently, said Kenison.

Each game has different strategies involved, different goals and requires different mindsets, just like in-person sports.

“You wouldn't tell a basketball player to go play football. Because it's a completely different skillset,” Kension said. 

Aside from managing the club and its teams, Kenison also advocates for the different jobs and opportunities that are available in the esports industry. 

“I kind of want to dispel the misconception that in order to be involved in the esports industry, you have to be an esports player. Because 99.999% of jobs in the esports industry are in business,” Kenison said. 

Engineers, lawyers, medical professionals and even psychologists are becoming interested in esports, said Kenison. Esports offers many different career routes. 

“Especially with COVID. And the rise of Twitch and streaming. Esports is something that we need to look into,” Kenison said. 

More information about the Esports Association can be found on Sun Devil Sync, Twitter, Discord or via email at easports.asu@gmail.com.

3 minutes
Madeleine Williamson, Producer