Article Written by Alexander Prahl. Photo by Alexander Prahl. 

On April 18th, SCSU Esports will be announcing a brand-new varsity expansion team to the program. This announcement will take place during the Esports Award Ceremony at the Atwood Arena.

The Path to Varsity Award recognizes a current non-varsity program for its significant growth and development throughout the community. It is gifted to a club that succeeds in factors such as success, popularity, and overall engagement.

The nominees for this year are Valorant Club, Ace Minecraft Club, and the League of Legends Club. The winner will eventually expand into an official academy and varsity team next school year.

Currently, there are two SCSU Esports varsity teams. This being the Smash and Rocket league teams.

But, with the rise of club teams such as: Valorant, League of Legends, Pubg, Fifa, and so many others, it goes without question that a third varsity program is currently in high demand.

Rocket League Team Manager, Jessica Savage answered questions in regards to future varsity expansion. Stating that the program, “plans to add a one new varsity team at the end of every school year.”

“A new coach and manager will also be hired for that team.” Savage also discussed other program developments over the course of this past year.

She touched on highly participated events such as North Star, Level up Lounge, and Honeypot. While also mentioning the in-game successes that both the Smash and Rocket League teams are having this season.

The Rocket League and Smash teams have both been competitive. As both programs have consecutively competed in NECC and NACE division finals over the course of this past year.

The growing traction of these two teams has prompted many other players to seek out either their club or community to hopefully be incorporated as on official Varsity and Academy program one day.

In an interview with Chase Neukam, Director of Esports, he explained the step-by-step process of incorporating a new team into the system.

Neukam elaborated that once a club is granted a Path to Varsity award,  teams will be organized with the “support, structure, and personnel to their team to form academy and Varsity Teams.”

Varsity is the main team of an official Esports organization. They are the ones that are leading the program when it comes to competitive competitions.

While Academy programs are designed to help support the varsity program. Essentially a junior varsity system that develops players into future Varsity players.

The process will start off with an official team tryout. This will organize players into their respected teams that they will eventually play on. Then, official team members, managers, and staff will be recruited to further the process of incorporating a team.

Both Savage and Neukam encouraged students to come up with their own clubs to create a community as part of the Esports program. Communities can be built from scratch and eventually have the chance to be recognized as a potential varsity and academy program one day.

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