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RMU’s Fireside Gathering

Garret Roberts

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Robert Morris’s Colonial Overwatch Club hosted its first Fireside Gathering Tournament on November 11, 2017. Welcoming new and old players, the tournament saw a variety of players from many skill levels competing to take home the prize.

The tournament offered two brackets: Basic and Standard. The Basic bracket had players using decks created by the game’s developers specifically for new players. Using cards that every player has access to from day one, its format allows new players and experienced veterans to play in a fun and fair way. The Standard bracket, by comparison, allows players to use any cards in the current “season” of the game. Allowing for more planning and creativity, this tournament allowed experts to show off their best cards and demonstrate their skills.

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The check-in table welcomes new and experienced players to the Fireside Gathering. Photo credit: Garret Roberts

The “Inn Keeper” and president of the Colonial Overwatch Club is Tyler Coates. He chose to host a Fireside Gathering due to popular demand.

“I was looking it up one day, and one of player Rob was really into it,” Coates said. “He really wanted me to push for it more.”

Fireside Gatherings are events sponsored by the Hearthstone developers in hopes of drawing new players to the game, while also offering experienced players a way to interact with fellow fans. Taking place in public venues like coffee shops or college campuses, you can only participate by being in the same room as other players. The resulting gatherings are often full of fun and games and offer a way to make new friends.

When players log into the event, the games developers and the “Inn Keeper” are alerted that they are there. Once they join, they are offered the tournaments to join as well as casual play with the other attendees. A special type of Tavern Brawl, exclusive to Fireside Gatherings, is also available, which focus on face-to-face player interaction.

Fireside Gatherings also give players incentive to join with free in-game rewards for participating. Players who join earn a free hero to play as well as a special card back to remember the event. Most of this type of content is normally locked behind a pay wall, so earning it for free is a great incentive for more casual players.

Despite their name, the Colonial Overwatch Club plays a variety of games. From Hearthstone to Rocket League, the club has teams for most competitive games.

“We play anything competitive really,” Coates said. “One of our players, Luke, plays Counter Strike, and we have a bunch of other members who play PUBG, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm.”

The Colonial Overwatch Club has also been excelling in the TESPA competitions–a series of tournaments designed for college students.

“As for the playoffs in Hearthstone, there are at least two teams who have made it to the playoffs–officially,” Coates said. “They will be receiving T-Shirts from the company.”

Additionally, the Overwatch TESPA teams have been winning their tournaments.

“Our Overwatch team has gone six and four, so now we’re going to regional playoffs,” Coates said. “There’s another Hearthstone tournament coming up, and for Heroes of the Storm, there is also currently an open going on as well.”

Members are welcome any time and are encouraged to join the club.

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