A college in Tri-Cities is looking to enter the world of competitive video gaming.
Columbia Basin College will launch its first esports team this fall and is currently seeking a full-time head coach to recruit and develop student-athletes.
Esports is the modern evolution of arcade tournaments that a gamer’s parents might have entered when they were younger.
The position will require a mix of completion and esports coaching responsibilities. As a completion coach, responsibilities include academic advising, monitoring progress, and assisting at-risk students.
Esports Coach responsibilities include coordinating competition and training schedules, marketing, and broadcasting.
Alex Thornton, CBC’s director of recreation and student welfare, said the recruiting team is looking for someone with marketing experience to publicize the new team and broadcast to help to broadcast the competitions.
The inspiration for the E-sports team was driven by active students in the on-campus gaming club. About six years ago, a group of students from the club began participating in e-sports competitions informally through the club.
Thornton said that’s led the school to look for a formal on-campus team, especially as esports at the college level is growing rapidly.
“A lot of schools are adding esports, especially in the last five, six years, and even more in the last two years with COVID, because it’s something that can be done remotely,” he said. he declares.
CBC found the perfect opportunity to get the team started when students voted to fund a new recreation center.
Originally, the school only had a fitness center with a weight room and cardio equipment, as well as their gym. The new recreation center would allow shared space for athletes and students, Thornton said.
The new recreation center will have space for hosting school games and events, as well as an updated fitness center and new gymnasiums.
“It will give us a lot more opportunities for students outside of esports,” Thornton said. “Things (like) intramural and different kinds of programs.”
The recreation center space dedicated to the esports team will allow gamers to compete against others throughout Washington State and beyond. It will include several gaming stations and the equipment needed to broadcast the competitions.
The team will face teams from the Northwest Athletic Conference, which includes community colleges in Washington and Oregon, as well as the National Junior College Athletic Association, which is a national sports and esports organization comprising more than 80 schools.
Thornton said the NJCAA was what drew the college to an esports team because players could easily compete against people across the country from the comfort of their own campuses because competitions were held remotely.
The goal is to compete with regional community colleges, but esports isn’t specific to a certain division like other sports, so there’s a chance the team could compete with schools outside the Northwest. Athletic Conference.
Some of the most popular tournaments include games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Halo.
Another goal is to mirror other sports in terms of scholarships and class requirements. Students will have access to scholarships, but will also need to be enrolled in a certain number of credits and will be required to maintain a certain GPA each semester.
While Thornton doesn’t know what the recruiting process will be like, he assumes the new coach will first go to the on-campus gaming club to scout players.
The gaming club is unofficial and unorganized, so the team structure can be an incentive for players to join.
Thornton said while there is a dedicated space for the esports team in the new Recreation Center, it is still available to all CBC students. There will be open leisure time for students to enter and use the space.
Not only was the E-sports program set up for a team, but it was also created so that students could have that space to come and use the equipment if they wanted to.
“We wanted to make sure we gave that opportunity, and it’s another way to spread awareness about the program and maybe identify potential recruits,” Thornton said.
The new coach must have a bachelor’s degree in education, student services, or a related field from a college or university, as well as two years of experience in an educational setting providing direct support to students, experience with electronic sports games. approximately $60,800 to $69,800 per year.
The goal is to hire a coach by July.