Posted on 04/05/2019 by Greg St. Martin at the [email protected].
“All right, are you guys ready to get going?”
Florent Astié speaks into a headset to his three teammates as he grabs his gaming controller, settles into a reclining leather chair, and turns to his computer. It’s 7:17 p.m. on a Monday night, and Astié and three other Northeastern students are playing Rocket League, one of the world’s most popular esports.
Esports, for those of you not in the know, refers to competitive multiplayer video gaming. Teams play online video games against each other in league matches and tournaments, which are often viewed by fans watching in person or online.
Astié and his fellow students, who are members of Northeastern’s Rocket League club, hold practice every Monday night at the SquashBusters recreational facility on the Boston campus. Rocket League is kind of like soccer, only that the players use rocket-powered cars, not their feet, to strike the ball. On this night, the students deliberate over offensive and defensive strategies, hone their individual skills in the game, and discuss the news that the Collegiate Rocket League is starting a new season for the spring. Later in the practice, they review footage of their previous games, and identify mistakes that they hope to correct in future matches.
“When we’re here, we’re figuring out how to play with each other and grow as a team,” Astié says.