E-sports: not a physical activity, but requires training and insight nonetheless

Gaming is increasingly included in GNSK in addition to traditional sports.
esports in de bongerd tijdens het gnsk Smash is being played in teams of three during the GNSK. Photo via Tonke de Vries

It is the second time that a Wageningen team has entered the Great Dutch Student Championships (GNSK) in the e-sports category. What is it, how do you prepare, and did “we” win?

‘No, we didn’t do very well’, says E-sportsman and Biology student Tonke de Vries, cutting right to the chase. ‘We came in last. But competing was fun. Although it is often said that it’s more about the game than about winning, I personally think winning is the most important.’

E-sports, or competitive gaming, is a relatively new category in these student championships. The GNSK has a number of fixed sports and also a number of optional sports, from which several are selected each year. E-sports was added for the first time in 2017. This is the second time a Wageningen e-sports team joined. The team is part of the game Paragon.


Smash, or as it is officially known: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Valorant and League of Legends, featured on this GNSK’s programme. Unfortunately, the latter two games were cancelled due to supply issues with the required laptops. ‘Rather a pity’, says De Vries. He helped organise the championships and played Smash. The e-sports were held in Sports Centre De Bongerd’s Judo accommodation. Wageningen competed with five other student teams, of which no less than three were from Eindhoven. Eindhoven, not surprisingly, won.


Preparing for an e-sports match does not differ significantly from preparing for any other sport, says De Vries. ‘Regular training to keep in shape, and plenty of sleep. If you know who your adversaries are and what characters they play, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. Knowing your opponents’ habits and how they play the game is a major tactical advantage.’

Anyone who has become interested in e-sports through the GNSK is welcome to join Paragon. De Vries: ‘We are a general games association which includes e-sports. We organise a monthly Smash tournament and compete against other universities regularly. But we also play board games and organise other activities.’

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