The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
By JAKE CAMUS JAMES MCALPINE Staff Writers “It’s a great mix of real-time action, real-time strategy, competitive team play and role-playing game elements,” says League of Legends Lead Creative Designer Shawn Carnes. Niagara College’s Event Management Graduate Certificate program has organized a League of Legends competition for March 7 at the Welland campus. It will be the first of five fundraising events for the college’s Many Hands Project that began in January. Other fundraisers planned for the Many Hands Project include a ball hockey tournament on March 14, a country-themed night on March 27, a fairytale event on March 29 and a dessert party on April 1. All events are expected to raise a minimum of $2,500 to pay for the Many Hands Project by the end of the semester. League of Legends, the commercially successful multiplayer online battle arena style PC game, has constantly attracted a large fan base since its release six years ago. The game holds the record as the most watched eSport event with more than 8.2 million spectators. An extra-curricular club called the Niagara College Summoners started last year to bring together students who play League of Legends. Aaron St. Louis, president of the Niagara College Summoners spoke about his excitement for the competition being held at Niagara College. “I think the fact that League of Legends is becoming so big is great. It’s such a pleasure for me to see a single game’s community grow so large. I remember when the game was in its beta stage and people thought it’d go nowhere,” said St. Louis. “But now, to be a part of a worldwide experience is truly amazing. On top of that, the fact that we now actually help others in need by playing is something we love to do. It makes playing the game a lot more rewarding.” Student Nathan Hammerling shows he’s particularly looking forward to it. “Even if we made the teams just for fun, I’m really excited to compete in the tournament. I got into the game back in 2013,” said Hammerling. “When I look back at my lack of experience then, I thought I had no idea what I was doing. But now, I can communicate with players well and realize the awareness needed for a game like League of Legends.” Tickets went on sale in late January. Competitors are to be in teams of five and expected to pay a $25 fee per player. There will also be a $10 fee for spectators. The tournament will include a raffle draw, a cosplay photo booth, League of Legends themed food and drinks, and a live championship game to finish. The event will start at noon and is expected to run until 10 p.m.