Friday Night Fives is a club that participates in the game League of Legends each Friday during the school year


Friday Night Fives is a club that participates in the game League of Legends each Friday during the school year. There is a lot to learn about the club and the future for the club is only going up.

League of Legends has grown to be one of the biggest games globally. With 180 million active monthly players it continues to be at the top. It has also become the most watched and arguably the largest esport. 

To no surprise, at the University Nebraska-Lincoln, the Esports Club participates in League of Legends. At Nebraska the Esports club competes in many different games ranging from first person shooters (FPS) and games like Rocket League. League of Legends is the most common game among their members. 

The Esports Club created Friday Night Fives which consist of meeting up at 6:30 p.m. every Friday on Discord. The reason for the five is since in League of Legends you compete in teams of five.

Friday Night Fives runs differently than most clubs, however, as it’s organized through the club’s Discord Server. Discord is an that has allowed gamers to connect through voice, video, and text chatting. Linsey Gividen runs the Friday Night Fives.

Discord has still been an effective way to play since so many people have joined. As of May 12 the Esports Club counts nearly 900 members on Discord.  Gividen said she first heard about Friday Night Fives last year during her freshman year. She joined the discord and it started from there.

“I attended a couple of them last year, at first it was a little disheartening because I got steamrolled every single time I played,” Gividen said. “It was still pretty fun and was great to be connected to the community.”

The community has been an important piece for Friday Night Fives. Despite the high number of Discord members, the club has struggled to find enough players every week.

“We haven’t done it in awhile since people did not show up as much,” Gividen said. “I started to put out announcements to try and get people excited again.”

That strategy appears to have worked, as 16 club members participated in Friday Night Fives on May 5. Because League of Legends consists of fives, the number the Esports Club shoots for each week is 10 players. Teams are split in different ways, the club breaks off into two teams or with team captains. Players have multiple chats on their Discord so they can split up the teams and communicate among their teammates so the other team can’t hear them.

Friday Night Fives are sometimes streamed on Twitch. An alumni at the school, Patrick Orel, said he has still stayed connected through the Nebraska Esports Discord.

“We try to keep close contact with some of our alumni, and it has been very fun to be connected with that,” Orel said. “I feel there should be more than just students who should be connected to the club.”

Orel will stream Friday Night Fives on his Twitch channel, LilPa1to. On May 5 since enough players participated he and another alumni, Matthew Halbur, went live on Twitch and commented on what was going on, to give more of that Esports feel.

At the end of the day League of Legends is a complicated game to get into despite it being the most popular esport.

“There is no other game like League since the layers are so in-depth,” Halbur said. “You need to be able to not only know the strategic side of League, but also the analytical side.”

Orel has been a part of the League of Legends community for 10 years, and has attended Friday Night Fives since his sophomore year of college. At the time when he joined there were 20 to 40 people that would play every Friday. The club was able to run multiple games at once. The Friday Night Fives club believes it can get back to that.

Despite running the club through Discord, having a space was always the goal. The Esports Club was just approved by the university to have a space in the basement at the Nebraska Union.

Gividen said that the club will have its own Esports arena in the basement, with PCs and consoles in the space to have a meeting space for club activities.

An overarching goal for the club is to continue to increase its number of club members. This past year Nebraska got a new esports coach in former Nebraska football player Ahman Green. Many of the club members said that he is bringing a new energy to Nebraska esports that will only elevate them.

“I really like the direction Ahman is taking it,” Orel said. “I could see in 10-15 years Nebraska being a national contender, I think we have a really good shot at doing something cool here.”

Halbur also had a lot of good to say about Green.

“Nebraska can go really far at the collegiate level,” Halbur said “I believe Ahman Green can break us into new levels, he is already setting down that foundation for moving forward.”

Many improvements are there for Nebraska Esports. At the end of the day Esports is all about having fun. That’s apparent from observing players for the three hours the club goes for each Friday.

“There are just so many different play styles and I just love the creative side of it,” Gividen said. “I just like to play with my friends and the socialization part of meeting new people, it’s just all so fun to me.”

Friday Night Fives will have one more meeting before the end of the school year, but next year will really bring the club to a whole other level when Green launches the university’s esports team in August.