ESports Bring MoCo Gamers onto Virtual Fields of Play


Kelly Martin ‘20

A relatively new form of competition that’s comparable to professional sports has been gaining national attention in recent years.

That’s electronic sports — or eSports — which places professional video gamers in the competitive spotlight.

Since the fall of 2018, Moravian College has been part of the trend. “Currently we have teams for the Overwatch and the Smash games,” said Andrew Padilla, president of the College’s eSports club and captain of the Overwatch team. “Last semester we also had Fortnite and League of Legends teams.”

As in traditional sports, Moravian’s gamers face off against gamers at other schools. In this case, however, competitions take pace on “virtual” fields of play and draw fans that sometimes watch games streamed live on such websites as

Moravian’s team is one of twenty-three that compete in the eSports division of the Eastern Conference Athletic Conference (ECAC), a college athletic conference of some 200-plus schools in the mostly mid-Atlantic and northeast states.  

The six members of Moravian’s Overwatch team play their matches on a PC, using a controller or a mouse and keyboard. The team competes in five matches in four game modes: Escort, Control, Assault, and Hybrid.

Each mode presents different challenges. “In Assault, one team defends two points, and the attackers’ goal is to take both points,” said Padilla. “In Control, teams fight for control of a single point, with the first to 100% winning the point.”

Moravian also competes in the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate contests, which gamer Patrick Martin said is “fast-paced and diverse. The player is given a lot of movement options that are fun to mix up and always have your opponent guessing. Top players describe it as fast-paced chess.”

Here each crew battle team member is given three lives or “stocks.” The goal is kill the other team’s stocks before they deplete yours. “We have a video call with our opponents while playing, so we can be sure there’s no cheating,” said Martin.

The eSports club meets twice a month, but team members practice on their own schedule. “Usually, Overwatch members will just run scrims [scrimmages] on their own time” to improve quickness, communication, and teamwork skills, said Padilla.

Smash players, however, practice in person. “It’s just more convenient,” said Martin. “When you play online there’s less communication, more time in between matches, and sometimes there can be significant lag.” Practice occurs when two or more players bring their controllers to scrimmage with each other in person, using the same console.

So far, Moravian’s Smash team is 1-1 in its bracket, taking a two-stock win over NYIT and a two-stock loss from Canisius College. The Overwatch team is currently 0-4. Their next scheduled match is against Thomas College.

If you are interested in joining or creating a team for any of the six games listed on, email Andrew Padilla at [email protected].