Students win big during Among Us tournament

The University of Minnesota’s “Among Us” Club has allowed its members to compete in the popular game and make friends during quarantine.

Hana Ikramuddin, Campus Administration Reporter

The University of Minnesota’s “Among Us” Club held a three-day tournament from March 19 to March 21 that awarded multiple winners out of over 60 registrants.

The club began in September 2020 as a way to organize students who wanted to play “Among Us,” a multiplayer online game, where a group of crewmates attempts to find one or more imposters in the group before they are all eliminated. Both current and former University students, as well as students from the University of California, Los Angeles have joined the club.

Currently, the group has over 500 members on its Discord server, where players can create and join “Among Us” games. The high volume of players was a surprise to the officers, said Narek Ohanyan, the vice president of the club.

“It basically just exploded. Like, right now we have over 500 people in the group,” Ohanyan said. “We were a little confused as to how that happened.”

Leaders of the club established the event after the University reached out to them and offered $750 in funding. Prizes included stuffed animals, stickers and a maroon and gold blanket, among other prizes.

Ohanyan, a second-year computer science student, said students who have joined the club have been able to meet new people and make friends, even amid the pandemic.
“I myself have made, like, actual — in real life — friends with some of the people that I played with, found out that they live literally, basically next door to me,” Ohanyan said.
Members of the club have also started streaming games they play, according to Ohanyan.

Since “Among Us” depends on players only being aware of their own location on the game map, watching another stream while playing in a game, also called “stream sniping,” is considered cheating. Therefore, officers of the club monitored streams during the tournament.

Autumn Moder, a graduate student at the University who placed fifth, said that she enjoyed the tournament because it helped her meet new people outside of her current group of friends and colleagues.
Moder also noted the pressure she felt during the tournament.

“My heart was racing pretty hard because when you’re an imposter, obviously you kind of have to lie,” Moder said. “I don’t have the map memorized so I’m sitting there like trying to cover myself in like different scenarios and not get caught.”

Fourth-year student Collin Sieffert, who won first place, was not a member of the group before registering for the tournament. Sieffert said he plans to keep playing “Among Us” with the club going forward.

“I’ve probably increased my video game playing in the pandemic like eight or 10 fold,” Sieffert said. “I’m not going to parties and not going to the bar. I’m not going to game nights with bigger groups or study groups and things like that. So all that time I now have, I’m putting into online social activities.”

Sieffert said he plans to give the stuffed “Among Us” toy he won in the tournament to his sister for her upcoming birthday.