Concordia University Nebraska adds esports team
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Concordia University Nebraska added an esports team to their athletic department this year. It was a bid to reach more prospective students, and even some already on campus.
The athletes meet in “The Arena,” an old computer lab, now decked out with gaming chairs, glowing keyboards and gaming headphones. Right now, the athletes are practicing daily for the start of their season in February.
“We practice every day from about 3:30 to 6 p.m.,” said Head Coach Ryan Hinds. “We’ll have match days, with a match preview and actual match. It looks like any normal match. It’s much like any other regular sport”
Some high schools in Nebraska offer esports, but only a handful of colleges do.
“We saw it as an opportunity to have one more avenue for growing enrollment at the university,” said Gene Brooks, the Vice President of Student Affairs and Athletics at Concordia. “They think it’s just people playing games, but there’s a lot more to it than that.”
Like other teams, you earn a scholarship to be on the team. There is coaching, film watching and working with teammates.
“I came to college and was looking for something to do because I had a lot of free time,” said freshman Tristin Kinderknecht. “Some of my friends were talking about it on campus, and I thought, I’ll give that a shot.”
At a time when close-contact is a no-go, being able to compete from the NAIA to NCAA Division 1 without even leaving campus is a plus.
“We have all of our set up here, we don’t have to travel anywhere,” said Hinds. “We just stay in our own little group.”
The team was called together to be at the forefront of a nation-wide growing interest in esports, and their coach said he is happy to lead the way.
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