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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Vaqueros Gaming creates a home for gamers on City College campus

Courtesy of Julio Longcob
The Vaqueros Gaming club gather at Dave’s Dogs on Oct. 7 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The club practices gaming as a team both in-person and online, as well as competes in state-wide tournaments.

Vaqueros Gaming offers an opportunity for students to make friends, socialize, play some casual games, or compete against rival teams in electronic sports. 

It’s a place for the sweatiest gamers to the most laid-back ones,” Victor Lopez said, the president of the club. 

Lopez expressed that he wants the club to be more than just a hub for experienced, competitive gamers who want to join a team, but also a place where students can feel comfortable being themselves and make friends through gaming. This led him to change the name of the club from SBCC Esports to Vaqueros Gaming. 

“I feel like this name change will bring in more people and create a space where people can socialize and meet new people without the worry of having to be a competitive gamer,” Lopez said.

Although the main focus of the club is to forge connections between students through video games, they do offer the chance to compete. The club has four competitive teams split between two games: “Valorant” and “Overwatch.” 

These are both fast paced, five versus five, first person shooter games. The teams usually meet up for practice twice a week, and get to display their skills in tournaments against other competitive teams, including rival schools. 

There are times that the team will have too many applicants. In these cases tryouts can get competitive and people will be cut. This being said, Lopez wants students to know that any level of player should feel welcome to try out. 

But honestly, we’re not looking for the best of the best,” Lopez said. “We want people who want to dip their toes into the competitive side of video games and see what they can achieve, it’s all a matter of getting people out of their comfort zone.”

Tryouts for all teams were held in the first few weeks of the fall and teams have already been formed for this semester. However, for anyone interested in joining a team, the next set of tryouts will be held at the beginning of the spring semester. 

The club is run primarily through discord. Discord is a social media platform that’s very popular with gamers. The club uses discord to hold meetings, practice with their teams, study, share clips of their gameplay, and to just hang out and chat. 

Although Vaqueros Gaming meetings are held over discord, they also hold many in-person events where club members can hang out in person and have fun with one another. In the past, the club has held multiple meetups at a local restaurant called Dave’s Dogs. 

“The amount of money SBCC clubs and students have spent at Dave’s, he should be sponsoring them,” one of the club members said in response to a photo of the group being posted in a discord chat.

The group is also holding a “Five Nights At Freddy’s” movie watch party on Oct. 27 at Camino Real Cinemas. 

Vaqueros Gaming hopes to provide a community for students in which they can connect with their fellow gamers, make new friends, and get out of their comfort zone. Anyone interested in the club can find its discord in their school email. 

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