Last weekend UFV’s E-Sports Valley club held the LANslide gaming marathon in the Student Union Building (SUB) in support of the Starfish Program at the Abbotsford Food Bank and the Fraser Valley Youth Society.
There were just short of 15 different games played throughout the Great Hall by over 30 participants from 7 p.m. on Friday night until 9 a.m. on Saturday.
By holding a raffle and concession sale, the E-Sports Valley club raised approximately $450, with 75 per cent of the money going to the Starfish Program — which gives kids six meals as well as snacks to take home for the weekend — and the remaining 25 per cent going to the Fraser Valley Youth Society, which does outreach throughout the Valley with LGBTQ+ teens.
“I bet you if you were to ask pretty much any gamer, ‘Is there a cause worthy of donating to and playing games for?’ they would find something to be interested in,” said Jaleen Mackay, public relations manager of the E-Sports Valley club.
The E-Sports team has had several charity events in its past and holds an annual tournament in cooperation with Childs Play, which raises money to bring board games to hospitalized children.
Games at the event ranged from ***League of Legends, Overwatch, and Mortal Kombat X, to Guitar Hero, Mario Kart, and Halo.
But the club often has challenges in setting up tournaments at the event.
“What we have found to be extremely difficult is to find what games to host because no one will tell us in advance,” said Mackay. “Two days before the event someone will tell us [they] heard there’s going to be Counterstrike Global Offensive … There probably would have been, but nobody filled an RSVP, so we have no idea who’s showing up; we have no idea who wants to play what.”
Regardless of tournament organization, the event was a hit according to Mackay.
“For me, the highlight is always people,” she said, “so I would say just getting to see my friends, getting people to talk to each other and try new things is the best part.”