Date: March to June 2020
Project: Gamers in Quarantine
Organization: Virtual Guardians Foundation (VGF)
Although I am the president of the VGF, I mainly acted as a support to the project manager (Benjamin Denis) and the programming director (Gabriel Darveau), in addition to taking care of the technical aspect of the Discord server.
Gamers en Quarantaine (GeQ) was a virtual gathering place for coaching and entertainment created by various individuals from the video game and electronic sports community in Quebec.
Following the announcement of the lockdown imposed on educational institutions on May 13, 2020, the Virtual Guardian Foundation took the initiative to create a forum around electronic sports, in order to keep young gamers not isolated and to share information, training and entertainment content on the theme of video games. The project, which was only supposed to last a few weeks, will last throughout the confinement and will gradually end at the end of summer 2020.
Gamers were invited to join the Gamers in Quarantine Discord channel to participate in recreational tournaments, spontaneous games, trainings, conferences and discussions on a variety of topics related to video games and electronic sports. Electronic sports coaches, moderators, and even speakers are available on the server to oversee the event and enrich the participants’ experience.
Access to the server and its resources was free and open to all.
Our Gamers in Quarantines initiative was part of the #PlayApartTogether movement, supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Over 800 participants
Over 40 volunteers (speakers, coaches, teachers, etc.)
More than 300 organized activities (workshops, training, tournaments, budding geniuses, etc.)
History of the project
How to build a community in less than 7 days?
On March 13, 2020, Quebec Premier François Legault announced, among other things, the closure of schools, CEGEPs and universities for a period of two weeks. Five days later, the website “www.gamersenquarantaine.ca” was launched.
The goal? To create a friendly platform to welcome the many gamers who are now forced to stay at home. The founders wish to offer a friendly, collaborative and recreational environment to video game enthusiasts by providing training sessions on many of the most popular games (Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, Fortnite and many others), recreational tournaments, real-time educational content and news on the Quebec esports scene.
In parallel, a Discord server is created. Discord is a free software that allows people to gather in virtual rooms in order to discuss in person or in writing. The purpose of the Discord server is to make it easy for players to find each other and create impromptu teams of players who share the same interests.
On the Discord server, one could also find a lot of relevant information such as the schedule of activities, upcoming tournaments, collaborators, and the profile of the volunteers involved.
A few 24 hours after the creation of the discord, a first training session on the game Overwatch was offered, gathering more than 30 enthusiasts of the game, attentive to the judicious advices of Célian, the Overwatch head coach of the Montreal Esports Academy. Celian explains the importance of resource management and the judicious use of the skills of the game’s various heroes. We learn about the need for teamwork, coordination and the benefit of effective communication.
On March 21, the first live tournament is held. It was the League of Legends College and University Tournament. Five university and college teams from the metropolitan area answered the call. Following a round robin format, the teams will compete for more than 5 hours, before the University of Montreal is crowned champion of this friendly tournament. The tournament is broadcast in real time on Twitch, a well-known streaming platform that hosts various content creators who present their work in real time. With over 50 viewers at any given time, the tournament, held in less than three days, was a huge success.
During the week of March 23rd, Gamers in Quarantine will be offering various recreational tournaments on games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege. Fans will have the chance to attend lectures from a professional NHL player, learn more about working as a game tester at Ubisoft, as well as a faculty panel on the relationship between education and e-sports.
In less than 10 days, Gamers in Quarantine has grown from an idea to a community with incredible discussion and learning opportunities.