esports team

Members of the TUJ esports team participate in an event at Tokyo Game Show in September.

TUJ students showed their skills at GeekOut/Roblox Booth at the Tokyo Game Show.
TUJ students showed their skills at GeekOut/Roblox Booth at the Tokyo Game Show.

The esports team of Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) has been gaining recognition through both its recent participation in the Tokyo Game Show 2023 in September and its efforts to strengthen bonds with other domestic universities. TUJ has taken a pioneering step in embracing the world of esports after the university launched an academic esports certificate program this year, which provides the academic knowledge needed to navigate the rapidly growing industry of esports.

TUJ’s esports team had an exceptional experience during the first public day of the Tokyo Game Show on September 23, 2023. Members of the Valorant varsity esports team showcased their skills at the GeekOut/Roblox booth, participating in two Roblox games. Their precision and speed, honed in Valorant, brought an exciting twist to the games, leaving a lasting impression on both the event host and the audience.

Following the Roblox games, TUJ Dean Wilson gave a presentation about the cutting-edge esports Program at TUJ. Participating in the event were Enzo Zeno De Marinis, the Valorant team manager, Vie Paminiano, the esports program social media manager, and Isamu Cian Une, the Valorant team captain.

Builds Friendship with Japanese Universities

TUJ has been taking part in tournaments and actively hosting friendly games with domestic universities. One of the notable highlights of TUJ’s esports initiatives is hosting friendly matches and tournaments. On July 2, the varsity esports team organized a match with a club team from the prestigious University of Tokyo, featuring the Valorant. This event provided an excellent opportunity for students from both institutions to showcase their gaming skills and built lasting connections.

Continuing their momentum, TUJ has been hosting a series of TENSUMA tournaments on campus. In July, the TUJ Gaming Club organized its fourth TENSUMA tournament, a name derived from the fusion of “Temple” and the video game “Super Smash Brother Ultimate.” This event attracted participation from some of the world’s top players, including students from other renowned Japanese universities. In September, the fifth TENSUMA tournament attracted more than 90 participants and another tournament is scheduled for November. Such interactions with other academic institutions signify TUJ’s dedication to fostering strong ties within the collegiate esports community in Japan.

TUJ Esports Evolves

The action of TUJ’s esports team continues this fall semester, with fresh members of the Valorant varsity team selected through a series of tough tryouts held in August. These fresh recruits have been practicing to improve their skills and teamwork in this sophisticated game to prepare for the upcoming matches and tournaments. The team makes use of the newly designed multimedia classroom designed for video production, which also serves to enhance the esports program.

TUJ is currently expanding its roster of esports teams by introducing “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.” Tryouts for these new additions took place on October 21 during which three varsity members and three junior varsity members were selected.

TUJ started the esports certificate program as of the summer 2023 semester in May, offering courses that will help students understand esports management, industry trends, legal and ethical challenges, social media engagement and revenue production. The university also established its first official varsity esports team earlier this year as it fostered its active gaming community on campus.

John A. Lipartito Jr., esports program manager and assistant professor, said students’ interest in esports programs and gaming activities has been rapidly growing since TUJ introduced the certificate program and launched the esports varsity team this year. Many students express a desire to work in the gaming industry or in jobs related to games given Japan’s historical significance in gaming. Lipartito acknowledges this interest as an untapped resource for TUJ and believes that many students already possess transferable skills gained from other academic experiences at TUJ  that could benefit them in the gaming industry.

Lipartito explained that the esports program aims to engage students in many ways, such as joining the varsity teams, taking on supporting roles like being team managers or handling social media work and attending classes about the esports business. “The esports programs highlight the diversity and opportunities within the gaming industry,” he said. “There are a lot of threads that lead students into the industry and many of them may already have skills that are valuable and transferable to various job roles in the esports industry.”

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