By: Jay Coghlan

Amidst the smack talk and making fun of each other’s skills, you’ll hear the matching jokes and fun conversation that comes with playing games with friends.

It’s not just another bunch of people getting together and playing games, it’s just a regular meeting for the Algonquin Competitive Gaming Club.

Established in early September of 2012 by Matt Sybolsky and Bruce Szego, both 24 and in the game development program, the students knew each other before coming to Algonquin.

When Sybolsky, currently in his second year of game development, found out that Szego was going to Algonquin to start his first-year of study in game development, they got to talking and decided to set up the club.

“I was surprised that there wasn’t one already,” says Szego. He pointed out that there was a casual gaming club on campus, but nowhere for those gamers who enjoyed the competitive side of things as much as just playing for fun.

By the fourth day of class in the first semester they had set up the club.  After getting the go ahead and receiving their funding, Szego and Sybolsky began printing and hanging flyers around campus and within a week, the club’s Facebook group had 140 members.

While the club is quite large, not everyone plays on Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, many are PC gamers so meetings often happen online. The meetings that are held in person are mostly for console gaming where a handful of the full club will gather and play games together as friends.

Sybolsky also said that the club was established because gamers are proud of the things they love and the club is meant to encourage the members to embrace that and get better at the games they are so passionate about.

“It’s not that much different than someone who loves woodworking and spends tons of time in a woodworking shop,” says Sybolsky comparing competitive gaming to any other hobby.