Looking for comms on Durham College’s esports varsity team? Read on.

Drew Fairbrother practising in the varsity section of Durham College's esports arena. Photo credit: William Black

When Durham College (DC) opened its $800,000 esports gaming arena in April, it received high-profile media attention from outlets like CBC, Global News, Breakfast Television and Metroland.

Many of these news stories mentioned DC’s esports varsity teams, now in their second year of competition.

After the media hoopla, DC’s esports teams have been competing against other schools, however, not all schedules and results have been made public regularly on the DC Athletics website.

However, that could all change soon.

Meetings between Bill Ai, DC’s esports general manager, and Jordon Hall, the school’s sports information and marketing coordinator, are planned to fix these issues.

“I do have a meeting with Bill before this winter break, because I want to have those things resolved for second semester,” says Hall. “More on a weekly basis, like our other teams.”

The DC Athletics website does have a page dedicated to esports, like it does for other teams such as basketball, soccer and volleyball. However, it is missing information for some games, such as Hearthstone and Overwatch.

“We know our schedule for basketball or volleyball in June,” says Hall. This means match schedules for traditional sports can be known four to five months in advance.

Hall says this is one way esports can be different from traditional sports.

“It depends what league they join, what leagues they qualify for… esports is so sporadic in terms of scheduling.”

Hall wants to emphasize that DC is still one of the most formally run esports operations in Ontario.

“A lot of the schools throughout post-secondary have them in that club status,” says Hall. “The biggest thing that I want to do with esports is present them like every other varsity team.”

An example of sporadic scheduling that causes challenges for Hall to make public occurred Nov. 15, as DC’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team played against Queen’s University and won.

This match was never announced on the Durham Lords’ website – it was only shared by the Durham Lords’ esports Twitter account, six hours before the match started.

“It’s tough to find information, even as a player it’s a bit of a task,” says Brad Piper, a player on the CS:GO team.

Piper says DC’s esports team information can currently be found online, however, commonly on game-specific websites.