For the 43 students who are part of the esports program at ETSU, it’s game time!
The start of the fall 2022 semester marks year number three for the school’s Overwatch and League of Legends teams, as well as the second year for Rocket League, which kicked off its inaugural season in fall 2021. Rocket League has already played its first game, taking on Dallas Baptist this past Tuesday evening with a 3-0 victory.
The Overwatch team is marking time for a few weeks waiting for the release of the Overwatch 2 game, set for early October.
As ETSU Esports Head Coach Jeff Shell notes, the move to Overwatch 2 is not the only big change for the esports program. Starting this year, the varsity teams for Overwatch and Rocket League will compete in both the fall and spring semesters. Traditionally, the varsity teams have only played in the fall.
“This is an exciting opportunity for our varsity teams to play year-round,” Shell said. “Our students are looking forward to spring competitions and continuing building their skills.”
Shell said Rocket League will compete in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) league in the fall, and then enter the Collegiate Rocket League arena in the spring. Overwatch will continue with NACE this fall, and a decision about the spring competition league will be made soon.
League of Legends will continue with their traditional spring competition schedule.
In addition to the 28 students who comprise the three esports teams, an additional 15 students will be involved with the program serving in a variety of production capacities.
“They are the lifeline of our program,” said Leigh Nutter, esports production coordinator. “They perform vital roles, such as casting, social media content, video editing, and coding. It is a valuable opportunity for them, as many of them are majoring in fields such as digital media, and this gives them practical, real-world experience.”
Captains for the team are Zachary Strunk (Overwatch), Nate Williams (League of Legends), and Tyler Gregory (Rocket League).
This fall, Rocket League will play on Monday evenings, and Overwatch will compete on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Oct.11. Fans can watch the games on Twitch or catch the action on the 32-foot video wall in the D.P. Culp Student Center.