Every Friday night during the academic year, you'll find 50 to 70 students in the IT building gaming together for 6 to 12 hours at a time. These dedicated gamers are part of Gamers Hall — IUPUI's student organization passionate about providing a space for everything from esports to board games.
"Our main goal is to be a community that conducts specialized gaming experiences on campus. We currently have 350 members on The Spot and over 700 members on our Discord," said Gamers Hall President Devin Bailey.
"Our club spans a lot of different interests that all fall under the same umbrella of gaming, which there's a huge passion and drive for on campus."
With COVID-19, many student organizations saw a significant decrease in participation. Whereas Gamers Hall continued to thrive.
"It's great to see the resilience of the student body and how they continue doing what they love," Bailey said. "Even coming back from the pandemic, the number of gamers at our events were wonderful."
From consoles to competitions
As the student organization continues to grow, its officers have worked hard to consistently set up events and gaming experiences that cater to members' interests, specifically with esports.*
"It's a large focus for us," Bailey said. "We want to compete. We want to represent IUPUI."
Currently, Gamers Hall has competitive teams for "League of Legends," "Overwatch 2," "Rocket League," "Smash" and "Counter-Strike." While it's all fun and games, these students are also serious about flexing their skills state and nationwide.
"We host various tryout events for our competitive teams, similar to what a club sport would do," said Gamers Hall Treasurer Noah Pumphrey. "Throughout the semester, we'll host casual tournaments in-house and have connected with other universities, like Rutgers University, which has a big esports program."
For students interested in the esports industry, Gamers Hall is a great community to connect gamers together and provides them with unique experiences applicable to this growing field.
"We want to give Jaguars the opportunities to pursue those interests, even if there isn't currently an esports degree program available at IUPUI. Giving them chances to do things like broadcast an event, organize the logistics around a big esports event or code a game that we can use for a 24-hour game jam is important," Pumphrey said.
Bringing gamers together
As the organization's new president, Bailey has plans to keep up Gamers Hall's presence on campus.
"For the fall semester, we’re hitting it full stride. We expect to host one event — with 20 to 100 expected attendees — every two weeks and have viewing parties for big competitions that happen," said Bailey.
"Our organization is the place for gamers to socially connect and bring students together, to have a good time. We plan to continue that as Gamers Hall grows."
*Esports: Competitive online gaming. These are usually multiplayer video games that encompass a wide range of categories. Examples include car races and Rocket League (3v3 soccer).