Story and Photos by Makayla Sulcer | Contributing Writer and Photographer
The Middle Tennessee State University Esports club held their annual Game & Greet event on Sept. 30.
Pizza, video games and friends – this is what the MTSU Esports Club event, helmed as the Game & Greet, offered to the attendees. The event kicked off at 5 p.m. in the Student Services Admission Center, complete with food, board games, and a Mario Kart Tournament. Students of all years attended the yearly event.
“Everyone was super inviting. People were walking up and talking to me. They even asked to play stuff with my group and me,” said Nolan Hicks, a freshman at MTSU.
This event was first held in Spring of 2021. The MTSU Esports club is based around video games, but they knew they needed to create in-person events to stay connected. Benjamin Nelms, the President of the Esports club, knew that connections during this event are what is most important about hosting them.
“We wanted to host the event to give new students a chance to meet people with similar interests. Linking up with the Tabletop Club and the VRAR Club just gave people so many more fun things to do while also getting these amazing clubs more exposure,” Nelms explained.
The Esports club provided a space for new students and returning students to create friendships centered around their interests.
“People rallied around each other and their interests in an entertaining way, making friends in the process,” Logan Birdsong, an MTSU sophomore, said of the event.
Many of the attendees participated in a Mario Kart tournament on the big screen in the room. This was the main event, and students participated in the tournament to win prizes like MTSU Esports t-shirts and LevelNext branded items. The tournament lasted the entire night and was a highlight of the event.
The Tabletop Club brought their vast array of board games, ranging from games like Coup and Cockroach Poker to more well-known games like Catan and Ticket to Ride. Tabletop Club and the Esports club see a lot of overlap in their members.
“I’ve noticed in working with the Esports club that there is an immense amount of overlap between video games and tabletop related hobbies. Our joint events succeed because we create a shared space that people can jump between as they wish,” Logan Mcvey, president of the MTSU Tabletop Club observed.
The MTSU Esports club had five of their club officers attend the meeting. This allowed for a personal connection to be made between the club members and the club officers, a connection that can only run so deep over voice chats and game chats.
“Ben made an effort to introduce himself, as well as most of the staff. They made sure we knew of the gaming opportunities and any snacks or drinks available,” Melissa Sweeney, a freshman at MTSU, described Ben Nelms and his hospitality.
The MTSU Esports club is far from finished with their exciting events and collaborations with other clubs this semester.
“With in person events to fun online game nights, we are trying to provide the MTSU community with a lot of fun things to do. Our next big event will be a Halloween event with some really unique competitions for the MTSU Student body,” Nelms explained.
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