By MAZIE BISHOP
The buzz of in-game lingo, and the clicking of keyboards and gaming mice filled The Commons, as the two-tier League of Legends tournament went live at the college’s Welland campus. A player screams, “GO MID, GO MID!” followed by loud cheers of victory.
On March 7, the Niagara College Event Management Graduate Certificate program hosted its first Many Hands Project League of Legends tournament. It was held to raise money to benefit Strive Niagara, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting young families pursuing education to better the lives of their children. Over $4,000, almost double the target, was raised.
Eighteen teams registered for the event meaning 90 players battled it out for one of the two champion titles. Eighty spectators attended to support their favourite teams and to share in the festivities. The event also offered a cosplay photo booth, where players could take photos with their favourite Champion (character from League of Legends) as well as a livestream of the championship games on the big screen in The Core.
There was also League of Legends themed food, beverages and exclusive raffles and door prizes.
Emily Dick, the chair and co-logistics of the event, explained the Many Hands Project. “[It] is a unique charity that the Event Management students have with the Renovation Technician students at the college. Every year we choose a not-for-profit organization in the region that we feel deserves and is in need of a facility renovation. We plan events in order to fund the construction that goes on. It’s a great learning experience for us as students and we get to leave a positive impact on the community. This year we chose Strive Niagara as the 18th recipient.”League of Legends is one of the world’s most popular Esports, with over 67 million monthly players, and the Many Hands Project made great use of the Niagara region League following.
“We were very aware of the market that was in the region for an event like this. Niagara had never seen an event-style League tournament before, and there are an abundance of players here,” said Dick. “It’s a twist on how you would picture your ordinary charity fundraiser. Riot provides some prizing for tournaments, which we were happy to receive.”
Victoria Bonato, Sponsorship and Administration for the event, was excited to announce that they surpassed their funding target.
“In my opinion, the event did go as planned. It was exactly what we imagined it would be. It ran smoothly, and the general environment was fantastic. We had amazing volunteers that gave everything to help us and the participants were all very positive at all times. Our goal was to raise $2,500 for The Many Hands Project, and we raised over $4,000!”
Kyla Crawford, an event volunteer, had an amazing day scorekeeping for each round.
“What I like most about the Many Hands Project is that they take time out of their days in search of something new and interesting each time to try and help different charities.” Crawford found the tournament dynamic the most interesting. “My favourite part of the event would have had to be the challenges/rounds. It was quite interesting to see everyone get together and play a well known video game and some of the team names were very interesting themselves.”
Samantha Ferguson, one of the four special cosplayer guests, attended as Annie, a popular character from the game. Ferguson has been playing League of Legends for a year now, and has been cosplaying for over10 years.
“This event has been a lot of fun. I’m excited to try all the themed foods and drinks. They are just starting to get all the finals together so it will be really interesting to see how that all plays out.”
Bonato had trouble picking her favourite part of the event. “I truly enjoyed the whole event, it is very hard to pick just one favourite part. I got goosebumps every time the music started playing, which meant a new game was starting. A few times during the tournament I caught myself standing alone staring at my team executing what we spent months planning, the volunteers work, the players interact with each other, my classmates there supporting us, it was just amazing!”
The two championship winning teams were Team Brock Badgers from Tier 1, and Team Knob Ponkers from Tier 2. The two teams were congratulated on the stage in The Core with confetti and the team of event co-ordinators.
To find out more information on the other events, the MHP, or Strive Niagara you can visit https://manyhandsproject.wordpress.com.