Nov 20, 2020 | SPORTS | By Ian Chalmers | Illustration by Anil Jergens

With the recent explosion in COVID-19 cases, it seems that any future in-person events planned for the spring semester will be pushed online. Plenty of blocks here at Colorado College that were once scheduled to be in-person for the spring semester are now scheduled to be Flex or Remote to limit the proliferation of the virus, as it once again spreads like wildfire.

With many state governments trying to not to lock down their state by amplifying other measures such as mask mandates, it seems that the future of sports is also uncertain. To make things worse, a new type of the SARS-Cov-2 virus that jumped from human to mink, and from mink back to human, has been discovered in Denmark. While it seems like the Almighty is playing Plague Inc., we have adapted to overcome these challenges. One of the biggest sports that can, and has, adapted to the challenges COVID-19 has presented is Esports. Since the sport is based on competitive online games and matches, all that one needs is a good Wi-Fi connection and hardware.

That brings us to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC), the holy grail of Esports competitions for Esports players here at CC. It is a way for the players to come together and represent CC, playing against other schools for a chance to bring home the bacon and to showcase that CC is not a school to be trifled with. The good news is that SCAC 2021 is scheduled to happen, a relief as SCAC 2020 was cancelled due to the introduction and rising case numbers of COVID-19 in the U.S. However, there is still uncertainty surrounding how the event will look.

“Usually for SCAC, pre-Covid, was that in the fall semester, it would just be the Esports teams, like Overwatch and League of Legends just doing some other competitions like TESPA or ESL, but the main focus was SCAC because SCAC, well, we won that, and so that has always been our primary focus,” said Al Lo, the CC Esports Flex Manager. “SCAC had to cancel last year because of the COVID-19 situation, and so this year, it is really up in the air.”

When asked about the uncertainty surrounding SCAC 2021, Lo said, “We know that SCAC is going to happen, but it hinges whether it is going to happen remotely, or if we are able to travel to compete. A lot of the players are excited for it, I am excited for it; it’s going to depend on the fate of the gods honestly.”

Lo also brought up an interesting point as to who would be able to attend SCAC: “It really depends on who is on campus, who can travel because not all of the teams are together.”

“I think that there are some players that are remote and others on campus, so most likely it will be remote, and if it is remote then we’re just gonna play online. If we are able to travel, most likely there is going to be social distancing protocols. If we try to do an in-person event, we might put plexiglass or plastic barriers in between the players just to make sure COVID-19 is not spread,” Lo continued. “It honestly depends on who comes back spring semester because obviously for the fall, less people are on campus, but next semester there is going to be more, so who knows, we might see more of the esports teams’ [players] on campus.”

So, with COVID-19 cases on the rise, it’s not unlikely that all-in-all the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference will be held online. And despite the different circumstances that our Tigers have faced, I am sure that they will be able to take the cake for SCAC 2021.

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