Jason Hernandez, A Dedicated Student and Esport Player “I think I balance my time wisely enough, where I can do everything”. Photo Credit: Matthew Pacheco
Gone are the days when gaming was merely a leisure activity. Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB) has ushered in a new era of competitive gaming, fostering not only a spirit of competition but also a strong sense of community. The recently unveiled Esports Arena, nestled within the South Student Union (SMSU), has transformed CSUSB into a hub for competitive gaming, offering students a platform to showcase their skills and form lasting friendships. Within this vibrant gaming ecosystem, students engage in intense battles, not just against their peers on campus, but also against rivals from other universities, all while indulging in popular titles such as Valorant, Call of Duty, and Rocket League.
Meet Jason Hernandez, a devoted member of CSUSB’s Call of Duty Competitive team. For Jason, gaming has been a lifelong passion, with Call of Duty serving as a constant companion since his formative years. His journey into the world of competitive gaming began at CSUSB when he heard about the tryouts for the Call of Duty team. This was a golden opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Joining the team marked a significant milestone, thrusting Jason into the dynamic world of competitive gaming. However, this transition was not without its challenges, as competitive gaming demands more than casual enthusiasm. It necessitates dedication, a deep commitment to honing strategies, and a voracious appetite for learning.
When asked about their rigorous practice schedule, Jason offers insight, saying, “We aim to practice every day, but as college students, we can’t dedicate our entire lives to it. We strive to scrimmage at least 4-5 times a week, typically extending our sessions until 8 pm every night.” Jason’s ability to manage his academic responsibilities while juggling two jobs alongside his gaming commitments is a testament to his unwavering dedication.
While most of the team initially practiced from the comfort of their homes, they’ve recently transitioned to the dedicated PCs provided by the campus, enhancing the team’s competitive edge. However, Jason’s role extends beyond being a player; he also serves as a team manager, actively contributing to tryouts for various games and teams. His responsibilities encompass managing the Valorant team, organizing scrimmages, and fostering connections among teammates. One standout achievement was organizing a scrimmage against Northern Arizona, showcasing the fruits of his labor.
For Jason, one of the most cherished aspects of his esports journey is the vibrant community he’s helped build on Discord. This digital hub facilitates casual interactions between CSUSB’s esports teams and students from the western regions, not only nurturing lifelong friendships but also establishing a thriving platform for others to prosper.
In conclusion, Jason Hernandez’s story exemplifies how esports at CSUSB have evolved into a platform for competitive excellence, teamwork, and community building within the university landscape. His journey highlights the level of dedication and passion that students invest in esports, all while successfully balancing their academic commitments. As esports continue to gain prominence on college campuses across the nation, stories like Jason’s serve as an inspiring testament to the pivotal role esports play in enhancing the overall college experience.