“As a captain, I’ve definitely been going easier on my teammates during this year – allowing them to have more fun during practice and joke around a bit more,” Alex Petropoulos quipped as his Warwick Esports teammates prepared for eVarsity 2021.
Like all things, Varsity will look different this year. The University of Warwick’s annual sports meeting with Coventry University was cancelled by the coronavirus in September, leaving a hole in the University’s sporting calendar.
In place of the typical Varsity festivities, Esports will take centre stage in 2021. With the official Varsity competition called-off, Warwick Esports will fly the flag for the University at an unofficial event this weekend.
All of this comes with a bit more nerves than usual
– Alex Petropoulos
“We’ve been representing Warwick on a national and local level for a long while now, but this is the first time where it’s just us, representing all of Warwick, so there’s definitely a bit more pressure,” Alex Petropoulos, who doubles-up as Overwatch captain and provisional communications director of Warwick Esports, told The Boar Sport.
“We’re hoping, given there are no other teams representing Warwick at the moment, we’ll have people cheering us on and rooting for us who may not have given us that sort of attention in other years.
“All of this comes with a bit more nerves than usual, but I’m sure that’ll just make the matches more exciting.”
All eVarsity fixtures will be streamed live on Twitch this weekend, with Warwick Esports facing Coventry Phoenix in five separate disciplines.
“When it comes to this sort of event, both teams usually end up getting a bit caught up in the moment and make greedier, flashier plays. This usually results in some entertaining games, so it’s going to be a blast for the players and the audience.”
Eleven months into the coronavirus pandemic, lots of students have struggled through blended learning, rolling lockdowns, and social isolation. The Warwick Esports exec, who are responsible for running the team’s competitive and social exploits, have ensured that training sessions remain upbeat during lockdown.
“You never know what someone could be going through, especially in these times,” Alex admitted.
“As a society, we’ve been making sure to keep trying to run our socials, albeit online. We’ve also tried to foster general community engagement, whether that’s just people hanging out in a public video chats or encouraging discussion in our discord servers.”
The pandemic has affected us too in all sorts of unpredictable ways
– Alex Petropoulos
Some things, though, remained unchanged for Warwick’s sole Varsity representatives. “In all honesty though, apart from those few specific changes, we haven’t had to change much,” Alex confessed.
“Obviously, the pandemic has affected us too in all sorts of unpredictable ways, whether that was players being separated from their computers because of spontaneous lockdowns, or not being able to run in-person events… yes, we do have those!
“But at the end of the day, we are extremely grateful that the fundamentals that turn the gears of our society still worked through all of this.”
The rest of Warwick’s teams will return to the field, track, and court next year. But for now – amid these circumstances – Warwick Esports are the only show in town.
The University of Warwick can’t (officially) make it 31 years in-a-row on Sunday. In 2021, however, City of Culture bragging rights are on the line. For now, that is the greatest prize of them all.
eVarsity 2021 Fixture List:
Saturday 21 February
- Valorant (B03) – 12:00
- League of Legends (B03) – 15:00
- CSGO (B03) – 17:30
Sunday 22 February
- Overwatch (B05) – 12:00
- Rainbow Siege Six (B03) – 14:00
NB: All fixtures to be streamed live on Twitch.