Eudora starts esports league through Parks and Recreation Department; Lawrence says one could be on the way
photo by: AP File Photo
Esports leagues through city Parks and Recreation departments are on the rise, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the founder of the new esports league in Eudora.
When the pandemic began, Jimmy Kegin, assistant director of Eudora Parks and Recreation, began a “virtual recreation center” for the city, with links to cooking projects, art projects and more. Then Kegin, a gamer himself, realized that now was the perfect time to start an esports league.
“We are all looking for some way to program, somehow, some way,” he said, and with esports leagues, adults and youth can participate from their own homes.
Currently, Eudora offers leagues in Madden 20, Rocket League and Call of Duty. Participants must own the games to compete, but Kegin hopes that, in the future, the Parks and Recreation department will be able to create a game room where people who do not own the games may come to play and where people may play together.
Leagues officially started on May 25, and Kegin said about 50 people signed up. More leagues will be starting soon, and Kegin said people in surrounding towns, like Lawrence, are allowed to participate. The league is currently free and is being funded through a portion of the Eudora Parks and Recreation budget. The city partnered with the company Mission Control to organize the league.
Lee Ice, assistant director of recreation for Lawrence Parks and Recreation, said that Lawrence does not currently have an esports league, but that it’s “something that’s up and coming.” He said the department is looking into starting a league and that it could be in place by the fall or winter.
Not only are esports leagues a safe option during the current health crisis, they also tap into a different clientele.
“We’ve realized that not every kid plays sports,” Kegin said. “There’s just a big world out there of kids that we weren’t serving.”
For those interested in joining Eudora’s esports league, see the homepage of Eudora’s Parks and Recreation website, eudoraparksandrec.org.