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Monday, September 27, 2021

SMITE joins UNT esports scene with formation of new club

Article Originally Published by Lyndle Montgomery on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by Lyndle Montgomery on North Texas Daily

With three varsity teams and several club squads, a new video game title has recently joined the university’s esports scene — SMITE.

SMITE is an online game where teams of players fight against each other within several different game modes.

Composed of around 23 members currently, the SMITE club was formed this June to bring players together in a community environment. Chemistry senior Alice Chelliah, 21, said the club is made for anyone interested in playing the game and will help teach new players the basics.

“We want to make it a huge point, if anyone has any interest in getting into SMITE, join the server,” Chelliah said. “All of us are more than willing to teach you the game, teach you the fundamentals and ensure you have a fun time with it. It’s a fantastic game that is underrepresented, and it is such a gem.”

Its formation filled a need Chelliah first saw in 2018 when she attempted to begin a club for the game.

“When I got to UNT, I asked [people] what does the SMITE team look like?” Chelliah said. “They said there isn’t one, but we have SMITE players. They asked if I wanted to be in charge of it and nothing originally came out of it. The SMITE players were scattered and no one came together.”

Nearly three years later, biochemistry sophomore Corbin Pierson, 19, decided to fill this need himself by forming a SMITE club Discord server.  Pierson has played the game for almost six years now and said he discovered his love for SMITE after his stepbrother introduced him to it. His love of the game and desire to bring players together motivated him to form the Discord server in June where anyone interested in SMITE is welcome to join.

“I enjoy SMITE so much that I wanted to see if there was a UNT group wanting to play,” Pierson said. “I created it more so people [who] play the game can find other people who also play so that we can play together.”

A free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game or MOBA, SMITE is played from a third-person perspective and presents seven different game modes to choose from. Conquest is among the most popular and features matches between two teams of up to five players.

Chelliah was also introduced to the game by a family member. She discovered the game from her older brother, who was one of the early beta testers for SMITE during its closed beta testing phase in 2012.

“He would sit in the living room on his computer he built just to play SMITE and play with his friends,” Chelliah said. “They would compete in early beta tournaments and perform really well. So, I would watch him play and thought that was so cool. Then my brother went off to college and left me that computer.”

Computer science sophomore Jayden Norman, 20, is relatively new to SMITE compared to his counterparts in the club. Norman said he started playing SMITE in September of last year.

“I had just seen a couple of my streamer friends playing it and having a good time and thought I should give it a try,” Norman said. “I wasn’t really a fan of MOBAs at the time, [but] once I started playing it, I realized it is a really fun game and have been playing since.”

Pierson said the SMITE club will look to begin hosting community events as more students join. He hopes the club can be a stepping stone toward the university adding a varsity SMITE team.

“Building a [varsity] team would be great, but at the end of the day, I’d rather have a community and then have that backing of a community to support a team,” Pierson said. “I want people to have a place to go and play SMITE.”

Courtesy SMITE

Source: North Texas Daily

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