Gaming society raises money for IWK

The Dalhousie E-Sports Society raised more than $4,000 for the IWK on St. Patrick’s Day.

By Blake Seymour

Scotiabank Auditorium packed with gamers on St. Patrick's Day. (Blake Seymour photo)

In the midst of St. Patrick’s Day, a hoard of local students travelled to the Scotiabank Auditorium to play video games to raise money for the IWK.

The Dalhousie eSports Society, a student-run society centered on competitive gaming, hosted the event with the support of Dalhousie University.

“This is a huge opportunity for us to get the Dalhousie administration to love us even more and to take a huge step forward for our society in terms of legitimizing e-sports and becoming a more official thing at our school,”  said Nick Soh, acting president of the DeSS.

Dalhousie was able to provide a venue but the society didn’t have equipment. Instead of giving up, the DeSS sent out a request for help among the community to run the event.

Students came to the Scotiabank Auditorium early on St. Patrick’s Day with computer equipment for the event. Computers filled the rows of the auditorium, while the back walls were lined with a collection of retro games brought in by local collector Adrian Hall.

“Huge thanks to all the amazing volunteers who dedicated their time, effort, and equipment to the event,” Soh said after the event. “Without you none of this is possible.”

Gamers enjoying Adrian Hall's extensive retro game collection. (Blake Seymour photo)

After the computers were set up and running, the event ran smoothly. For six hours, gamers talked, laughed and competed for more than $2,000 in prizes.

There was a variety of games played at the event, but priority was given to three specific games: DotA2, Starcraft II and League of Legends. These games are played professionally around the world and have recently come into the competitive, collegiate scene.

While these games gave the event a serious atmosphere on the surface, it was clear that the main goal on this day was to have fun. People cheered over the completion of difficult retro games, and there were WWE-style introductions accompanied by dimmed lights and the playing of “Eye of the Tiger”.

In the end, not only did the event provide an alcohol-free alternative for students, it also raised more than $4,000 from donations for the IWK.

“It was an amazing event guys, no way it would have been half as fun as it was without the good turnout,” said Joshua Veitch, public relations head for the DeSS. “High-five to all those that came.”