FUEL wins Esports Club of the Year award

Adam Boyce (left), Tyler Hetherington (middle) and Veronica Visla (right) standing with the new prizes and gaming chairs from Monster. CREDIT: ALEX ALLAN
Adam Boyce (left), Tyler Hetherington (middle) and Veronica Visla (right) standing with the new prizes and gaming chairs from Monster.

Fanshawe Fuel Esports has won Esports Club of the Year from Monster and Playfly Esports. Fuel was recognized for their accomplishments competitively and their strong community base. The prizes include six gaming chairs and a Monster Energy prize pack, totalling approximately $4,500. Fanshawe Esports Coordinator Tyler Hetherington said that all Canadian post-secondary schools were considered for the prize, so to win was a huge honour.

“Monster has done a couple activations with us and within Fuel and they also recognized everything that we were doing with Esports on campus to name us Club of the Year,” Hetherington said.

Partner Activation Manager Francisco “Kuya Kix” Tejada said that Monster Energy wanted to celebrate and give back to students and Esports clubs in a unique way. They first started with the Esports Club of the Week prize and kept growing it from there. Tejada specifically acknowledged Hetherington and his team for all the work they’ve put into expanding Esports at Fanshawe.

The Fanshawe College Student Success and Here For You logos are shown. A young woman is smiling, sitting at a desk. Text states: A new semester is here. Access student services! We are here for you.

“Both Monster Energy and Playfly Esports proudly recognize Fanshawe College as our first-ever Esports Club of the Year,” Tejada said. “The prizes will help the on-campus optics and credibility of the great work that Tyler and his team are doing.”

Fuel Coordinator Assistant Rachael Billion couldn’t believe the news and said it was amazing to hear.

“I think that everyone at Fuel including staff, players and community members have all worked very hard to create a great community here at Fanshawe,” said Billion.

Hetherington added that building Fuel from the ground up has been well worth it. He said it’s incredible to get recognized by a big brand like Monster. Hetherington puts the Fuel community first and likes for the players and staff to be recognized rather than himself. He’s made sure that the Monster gaming chairs and prize packs are used in the Fuel Station, for all the community to use.

“It’s exciting to win this award and it’s exciting to build the program and make it better every day,” Hetherington said.

Valorant manager and content creator for Fuel Adam Boyce was surprised to hear about Fuel winning Esports Club of the Year.

“This is awesome, I love Monster Energy drinks but it’s cool that we won this award,” Boyce said.

According to Hetherington, Fuel started as a small concept back in 2018. He said that it’s rewarding to watch students come out of their shells and find a place they belong on the campus.

“We’ve had some students show up on the very first day at Fuel and didn’t talk but ended up becoming Esports team captains and in charge of practices or even in-game leaders,” Hetherington said. “To see students grow like that is amazing and to follow-up with them after they graduate and see where they are in their career is awesome.”

Fuel previously won Esports Club of the Month in March 2023 from Monster and Playfly Esports. Hetherington is hoping that winning Esports Club of the Year will help shine a new light on Esports here at Fanshawe.

“Hopefully this opens up some eyes for some people who were blind towards what we were doing with Esports and Fuel all together,” Hetherington said.

Hetherington believes that Fuel has achieved some great pillars but there’s still a lot of growing to do. Fuel had around 24 competitive teams in the 2022/23 academic year and Hetherington is hoping to hit around 30 teams for the 2023/24 academic year.

“I’d like to have our marginalized gender teams put together for this upcoming season,” Hetherington said. He mentioned that a couple of Esports leagues might be putting together marginalized gender specific leagues in Valorant along with a few other games. Hetherington also has plans to keep improving the Fuel Station as much as possible.

Fuel try-outs will be starting around the first week of September. Join the Fuel Discord to keep up with the latest try-out dates and other announcements. Starting September, Fuel will hold community gaming events too, which will rotate every Monday from EA FC 2024, Chess and Super Smash Bros. at the Alumni lounge.