Students Eva Masrani, Lincoln McNish and Justin Maduka take a time out to play Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Switch at the

Players are welcome to participate in the SMC Campus Center and at home.

Photo: Students Eva Masrani, Lincoln McNish, and Justin Maduka play Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Switch at URecFit & Wellness.

Player 1, ready?

The esports league at URecFit and Wellness returns this semester with its gaming area now open on the fourth floor of the SMC Campus Center.

URecFit and Wellness members can drop in, play, and earn Poe Cup points for their school in the yearlong Poe Cup Challenge for intramural sports. The league offers players of a wide range of skill levels a chance to compete against others in the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)-University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) community in some of their favorite video games.

“Esports is a wide range of activities offered through a gaming platform,” said Jacob Pridemore, MS, senior assistant director for URecFit and Wellness. “It’s anything from an Xbox, PlayStation, and we have a Nintendo Switch here.”

In addition to a PS4, Switch, and Xbox, the gaming area features a 75-inch TV, controllers, a couch, and a selection of games including some fan favorites like Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart, FIFA, and Madden, among others. Gamers are welcome to bring their own favorite headsets or controllers or just show up to plug in and play on the spot.

“Any URecFit and Wellness member can come up. They can play either game system just by asking our staff for help with setup and turning it on,” said Pridemore, who is a devoted Madden player.

The area complements the wellness offerings at URecFit and Wellness to give faculty, staff, students, and UMMC employees another option to relax.

“I really enjoy having esports here because it brought in a new element of recreation that we didn't have before,” Pridemore said. “Prior to COVID, your outfit was just the gym, right? And that’s kind of what people thought about. With the addition of the wellness space and the gaming area, we have a new, holistic type of way of thinking about recreation.”

All UMB students who are in good standing, including those at the Universities at Shady Grove, have automatic access to the URecFit and Wellness facility with their One Card.

Visit the URecFit and Wellness website to learn more about eligibility and rates.

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