Temple Esports’ recent collaboration with Nerd Street Gamers has established the club as a prominent name in Esports across the country by providing them with a professional-grade training location.
“I mean, that partnership with Nerd Street/Localhost puts Temple University on the map for Esports,” said Michael Martin III, senior finance major and president of Temple Esports. “This partnership will give Temple University the biggest collegiate Esports facilities on the east coast and possibly the whole country.”
Temple Esports is a student-run organization with nearly 150 active members consisting of teams that compete in games like Valorant, Apex Legends and League of Legends. On March 15, Nerd Street, a national network of esports events and facilities, announced a collaboration with Temple Esports that will provide the club access to Localhost Philadelphia’s venue, located at Broad Street near Callowhill, at a reduced cost as well as the ability to host events in the space.
Temple Esports welcomes students of all different skill levels and has different teams for each game according to the member’s skill levels.
Temple Esports is made up of different teams with junior and varsity levels including Rocket League, Call of Duty, Overwatch and many more.
“It’s very diverse in the sense that each and every person may have a different game they came in mind to, some more competitive, some more casual,” said Masina Garonzik, a junior advertising major and public relations manager for Temple Esports.
Prior to their collaboration with Nerd Street, Temple Esports utilized a space donated to them by Aim Lab, a video game training company, in Gladfelter Hall founded by 2012 psychology alumnus, which has 12 PCs. This space was not as effective for the club because Gladfelter Hall closes at 9 p.m., and most matches run past the building’s closure.
“Your games begin at eight o’clock and they can go on up to two to three hours long, so our players only use that space to scrim and practice and maybe watch a couple like reviews, but they could not actually play the match together in that space because of that time limitation,” said Martin, a senior finance major.
Access to an in-person facility helps members of the team connect with each other socially, as they have been practicing and communicating virtually. Most players practice at least three times per week to prepare for the matches they normally have on Fridays.
The team is improving the more they are able to collaborate in person with their new practice space, Martin said.
“It’s like any, any sport, like you want to have that team bonding moment, you want to be able to put the faces on who your teammates are whether it’s see their emotions, how they react, how they take in information, so you can, it’s all about team building and team chemistry, because it’s like the old saying, ‘There’s no I in team,’” Martin said.
Robert Dehart, a freshman sport and recreation management major, is spending his first year with Temple Esports as a member of the varsity Valorant team.
The Valorant team found success as the 2022 NECC Challenger Nationals White Division undefeated champions and continue to work hard towards more wins in the future.
“[Nerd Street] allows us an opportunity to play as a team on weekends and to compete together in a space where we’re comfortable, and it’ll help us win more games,” Dehart said.
Temple Esports has collaborated with other organizations in the past, like Monster Energy, the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management and Aim Lab to provide Esports students with scholarship opportunities and to gain additional club funding and resources.
The club hopes to gain sponsorship from the university to provide them with access to resources other collegiate Esports teams have.
“If we get university sponsorship, there’s a high likelihood that we could get coaches involved,” Garonzik said. “Coaches from other universities are usually on a full time employment level, they are for their team like any other team to help them win games, teach them new things, and all those other aspects and we just don’t have the finances at this current moment to hire such an individual.”
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