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Esports Continues to Grow at the Mount and Worldwide

Raimondo Partito
Graduate Assistant, Marketing and Communications

Purcell Hall

In the past, playing video games was an activity largely reserved for basements and bedrooms. Today, esports has become a worldwide phenomenon that attracts millions of spectators worldwide and provides gifted players with a route to success. At Mount St. Mary’s, the esports program began in 2019, competes as a premier sport in four games and includes an academic minor.

esports-logo-in-text.jpgThe Mount’s esports program is multi-faceted with competitive teams playing several games including Overwatch 2, Rocket League, Valorant, and Super Smash Bros. These teams are supported by the university in the same way as traditional student-athletes, with scheduled practices, coaching, an exercise regimen, and academic support services. In addition to competitive teams, the program also supports club, or academy, teams for players who want to compete but who play less popular games or are building their skill set to compete on the premier teams.

For senior Taylar Terry, joining the Overwatch 2 team helped her to break out of her shell. “I was always kind of a hermit and kept to myself. I had a small group of close-knit friends which really consisted of my family and roommates. I didn’t talk to anybody who didn’t talk to me, I was very shy!” she shared. “It was a great way to terry.jpgbranch out and leave my comfort zone.” After getting involved with the team Terry met a lot more people, created new connections, and built relationships, not only with the Overwatch team but also with the Valorant team.

Christian Myers, a junior playing in his second season with the Overwatch 2 team, has learned a lot of life lessons through his involvement with the team. The most important lesson he’s learned is the importance of learning from mistakes. “It’s okay to make mistakes. You should never put yourself down when you make a mistake. Of course, I knew this before, but after playing with the esports team I’ve come to accept I’m going to fail and it’s okay,” Myers said. “You can do everything right in practice for a week straight, and then when it comes to your game, you can lose. It’s all overwatch.jpega part of the process, which is getting better one day at a time. It’s okay to make a mistake, but it’s not okay if you’re not going to learn from it.”

The Overwatch 2 team, coached by Director of Esports Russell Hamer, Ph.D., and Michael Hansen, captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Esports Championship in 2022-23, its first season competing in the MAAC. The no. 1 seeded Mountaineers defeated no. 2 seed Marist College, the three-time defending conference champion in the finals. The championship also brought an automatic bid to the national Collegiate Epsorts Commissioners Cup, held in May. Returning from the championship team, which included three members of the Class of 2023, are Brady Klodaski, C’25, who was named MAAC tournament MVP, and Jack Hohl, C’24. The other Mount teams also played well at last overwatch-trophy-in-text.jpgyear’s MAAC Championships. The Valorant team advanced to the semifinals but fell one game short of reaching the overwatch-champs-in-text.jpgfinals, and the Rocket League team lost in the quarterfinals.

The future of esports is brighter than ever. Advancements in gaming are becoming swifter, thanks to developments in virtual reality and augmented reality. While esports are not among Olympic sports yet, the International Olympic esports-back-view-in-text.jpgCommittee hosted Olympic Esports Week this year in Singapore. Scholarships for esports are also being offered by academic institutions, including the Mount. Esports has evolved from a particular hobby to a major worldwide cultural phenomenon. The competitive video gaming industry is expanding rapidly and is expected to continue doing so in the years to come with increasing investment, accessibility and recognition.

Find the game schedule and watch the esports teams compete live at

Raimondo Partito
Graduate Assistant, Marketing and Communications