For Iona University’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team co-captain, Connor Wilkin, esports is about more than just gaming and winning tournaments, it also serves as an arena for friendship and personal growth.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or, CS:GO) is a multiplayer tactical first-person shooter game. “The objective of the game is, there [are] five people on each team [and] there [are] two areas on the map,” explains Wilkin. “One side is trying to defend the areas, while the other side is trying to attack the areas.”
While the goals of the game may seem simple, the college student admits that there’s always room for improvement. “I like that no matter how good you get at CS:GO, you always find people that are better than you, and there’s always ways that you can improve in the game.”
But at the esports team’s try-outs, Wilkin proved that he was one of the best players at the university. “I was nervous once I heard that there were tryouts,” admits Wilkin. “The tryout process for joining the CS:GO team was basically, we all went into the esports room and played against each other—5 against 5—and they decided who was the best on the teams.” After tryouts, Wilkin was chosen to be one of the team’s co-captains.
“The benefits of having another captain are that you have someone that you really depend on and go to if you need help and [can] rely on,” says Wilkin of the co-captaincy. “It’s not just all the responsibility on you.”
Sharing responsibility and developing good communication skills are both major facets of Wilkin’s esports experience. “I used to play with random people, not really a set team and set people that I [could] really bond with,” he shares. “[Whereas] here I can really grow as a team with people that I know.”
When it comes to CS:GO, spotting enemies is a must. But for Wilkin, playing on the team has allowed him to find and foster deep friendships. “I do think gaming has changed my life,” says the co-captain. “I think it’s definitely showed me that I have to work hard to be good at something, and it’s also opened the doors to many friendships that I’ve met through the university esports team.”
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