Article Written by Collin Rutkowski. Photos by Collin Rutkowski.

With finals just around the corner, students on campus are looking for ways to unwind and have a good time outside of studying. For the gamers at St. Cloud State, the Valorant club hosted their weekly tournament Wednesday where laughs and good times were evident in the Esports Lounge.

The members of the club made it clear that the main reasons for the events is to raise awareness of the club and for everyone involved to have fun.

Vincent Yang, Event Coordinator of the Valorant club, was one to echo this sentiment and is one of the key figures in putting on these events.

He said, “We want people to come out if they haven’t, and the goal is to have our current club members to come out just to play and have fun. This is a casual event so people can have a break from school.”

A lot of the people at the event had heard through word of mouth, which led to a diverse group of people of varying skill levels on the game just looking to wind down and have a good time.

Some talk around the Esports community is that Valorant could be the next Varsity Esport for the Huskies and many of the current members could not be more excited.

Vincent said about the potentiality, “One hundred percent, for sure, if this is the Esport a part of the varsity program, I’m on board. This game is just too fun to give up right now.”

The event itself was to get more people involved with the game, but that didn’t mean the feeling of competition was not evident. Players would make it very aware when they eliminated one of their friends on the other team by typing “ez” in the game chat just to rub it in a little more.

Even with this competition, it still brought everyone together to have a good time.

Abish Tuladhar, Vice President of the Valorant club, is a big competitor in Valorant who self admittedly played hours a day to get better at the game, but helped start the club to make new friends and grow the game at the University.

Abish said, “I love playing Valorant, but the only problem was I only had online friends. I just wanted to get out and help make events because being a leader is one of the most important skills you want to have in your future. I just wanted to get involved however I can.”

The club has already gotten a head start on competing at a higher level than just playing the game to have a good time as well. They are competing in the National Esports Collegiate Conference as an official club team.

Abish said, “For now, we’re competing in the NECC, we’re an official Valorant club team that Chase Neukam (director of Esports) gave us an opportunity and we’re able to compete with other universities.”

Valorant is a five versus five first-person shooter where your objective is to eliminate the other team each round. You win a match by being the first team to reach thirteenth round wins.

The weekly tournaments are hosted in the Esports lounge on Wednesdays from 6-8 p.m.