Humber is rolling out the red carpet to its after-school programs as getting back to normal picks up speed, and that includes the college’s esports teams.
Humber and other colleges built teams and programs around esports leading to international collegiate leagues for students. COVID-19 forced all schools to press pause on collegiate play, but they haven’t stopped building their teams.
Humber announced Bernard Mafei as the new senior administrator of Humber Esports.
Mafei, also known as RaynEX, is a veteran in the Canadian esports world. He said he joined Humber with one goal: to return Humber to where it was pre-pandemic, which was a championship-winning team.
The Humber Esports Call of Duty team was the College Call of Duty League (CCL) champions in 2019 and won the Tespa Varsity Call of Duty Invitational Tournament in 2020.
The team struggled to recruit members in 2022. Mafei hopes a rebrand will draw more members and create a different dynamic.
“I want to bring that family atmosphere to Humber. I come from a community, grassroots kind of background through Super Smash Bros. and other games,” he said.
Considering his history in the Super Smash Bros world, Mafei said having a team is inevitable but will see some changes from past years.
“I think we had 12 players on the team last time,” he said. “Maybe make it like four or five” players in the future.
Humber’s Valorant team was the first team ready for tryouts because of the Red Bull Campus Clutch, an online global collegiate competition hosted by Red Bull that runs between July and November in various countries.
Schools across the globe will compete for a spot in the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final in Istanbul. Canadian qualifiers started Sept. 16, while the national finals are on Oct 28 and 29.
Mafei said Humber has a team playing League of Legends and he was planning to include a team playing Rocket League.
“It’s a really popular game, easy to spectate, nonviolent, every school plays it, so I want a team for it for sure,” he said.
In terms of launching these teams, Mafei first seeks general managers and coaches, he said.
“I’m bringing in a team lead as a paid position who will support the varsity teams with everything,” he said.
Mafei said what he’s looking for in a team lead are those with management experience with time management skills.
Coaches need to be able and capable to help players improve, be supportive and open-minded, he said.
“It’s about empowering the players to do it themselves,” Mafei said.
“Can you show up on time because a big problem in collegiate is (that) teams, players don’t show up and they get disqualified for matches,” he said.
Mafei said he also like to add the Collegiate Fighting Game League which is bringing competitive fighting games to schools.
“There’s already a movement among colleges, and universities to bring FTC into their teams,” he said. “If there are two or three players that are really interested, 100 per cent we can give them jerseys…and give them some funding to enter tournaments on behalf of Humber.”
So far, the rebrand is focusing on the image of Humber Esports and creating an atmosphere of fun and caring for everyone involved.
They started by contributing to the First Year Experience (FYE) with games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., NHL 23 and other games played at the E concourse and their small area at the recent HawkFest Carnival.