Interview: Keenan Gaffney - Marquette Gaming and Esports Club
In the fall of 2019 Marquette University launched a varsity Esports club, the first in the nation run by a major conference Division I athletics program.
The Marquette Gaming and Esports Club mirrors the traditional athletics team model with many of the same benefits for players: leadership development, teamwork, communication and the pursuit of excellence. We recently sat down with MGE teammate Keenan Gaffney to talk about gaming, MGE and the future of Esports.
Hi, I’m Keenan Gaffney, a Junior at Marquette University studying in Accounting and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Besides Esports I am an avid soccer fan and I follow my favorite team, Arsenal Football Club in London, very closely.
I also enjoy spending time with my friends whether or not it involves videogames. I am, of course, a part of the Marquette Gaming and Esports Club as not only a player on the Rainbow 6 Siege team, but also as the social media manager.
How did you get into Esports?
I got introduced to Esports by simply watching pro-league Rainbow 6, however, I got involved with Esports at Marquette because of my freshman year RA. I had a chat with him after a few months of my freshmen year about feeling bored a lot and he helped me find clubs that were good for me and even pushed me into going to the events. Because of him, I am able to be a part of this amazing community and if Christian, my RA, somehow ever reads this, I hope he knows I’m forever grateful for what he did for me.
Tell us about MGE as a competitive club as well as a social club.
MGE provides every experience a gamer could want. We provide social events, such as LAN parties, tournaments, such as our Smash tournament, and club teams for those who are looking for a competitive experience. Every part of the spectrum is covered and we strive to provide the best opportunities for all gamers at Marquette.
How did you get involved with Koss?
MGE is sponsored by KOSS so when they asked us to come down, take pictures, test out their gear, and get interviewed, how could we say no?! The experience has been incredible and I also feel very lucky that MGE sent ME to do all of this.
What has been your biggest triumph?
My biggest triumph with MGE has got to be helping my team make it to the sweet 16 of the CR6 open league playoffs. Playoff Siege is really f*cken fun! I can’t wait to see how far we go this semester. If I had a second triumph that I could mention, it would be getting jerseys for our club players. Like, who else is doing this?! We the best.
What does a typical MGE teammate look like?
There really is not thing as a typical MGE member to be quite honest. We all come from various backgrounds and areas of the country and world! MGE strives to create equal opportunities for all no matter the race, color, sexuality, or beliefs. We just want everyone to have fun!
What events are coming up for MGE in 2020?
So what I can tell you right now is that we will be having our usually LAN and Smash events coming up soon (February and March respectively) and we will have more events in the future, but to find out about those you better stay tuned to our social media accounts! Instagram: @mu_gaming and Twitter: @MarquetteGaming\
Where do you see the future of Esports headed?
The future of Esports in the next 10-15 years is huge and ever-expanding, We will see regularly shown programs on TV of Esports matches from various games with professional analysis as if it were a basketball game.
I bet the NCAA will expand and create Nation-Wide leagues for Esports. I just hope what we are doing at MGE, with Marquette University’s help, can help create a foundation for this.
What are some of the games the MGE team competes in?
MGE provides club teams in CSGO, Call of Duty, League of Legends, Rainbow 6 Siege, Rocket League, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Melee with the League of Legends teams and Rocket League team competing in the Big East.
Tell us about the MGE Rainbow Six Siege team.
The Rainbow 6 Siege team is less of a team and more of a brotherhood. We are a group of good friends that all happen to play the same game. We have a total of 10 players and compete in two different leagues, CR6 and CEA.
I personally play as the IGL in the CEA squad and as support in the CR6 squad, but all of us could play any role. We practice quite a lot and stream all of our matches on twitch. That link is https://www.twitch.tv/marquettegamingandesports.
Why do you think Esports is becoming so ubiquitous at Universities around the world?
Esports is just everywhere. Kids at every university play videogames and some of them just so happen to be really good. We enjoy being competitive in the things we love and videogames is included in that. Universities are starting to see how important that is to their students so it only makes sense that they’re expanding. Also, the club community is really cool.
I interact a lot with the other clubs in the area and I’d like to give a shoutout to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Esports as they are some cool people.