Caldwell, N.J., Nov. 14, 2019 – The university’s esports team launched its inaugural season in a beautiful, new state-of-the-art esports arena this fall. The Cougar program features two Overwatch teams who have been competing against other colleges and universities and two League of Legends teams that have has been playing scrimmages.
The gaming area features two rooms and was made possible by LG Electronics which donated 12 240Hz gaming monitors and six large-screen 4K displays, and by Cisco, which donated a network switch and two cloud security cameras.
ToniAnn Convertino ‘19, who received her bachelor’s in sport management from Caldwell and is currently in the MBA program, has been delighted to not only be the first esports advisor and coach at Caldwell but also to be the first female esports coach since there are more male leaders in the professional gaming industry. She is proud that the Overwatch teams are off to a good start with a record of 4-1. “We might be in the playoffs.”
A former student-athlete who threw javelin and discus for Caldwell’s track and field team, Convertino is applying her teamwork skills to esports as a coach. She understands the challenges players have of time management with practices, matches and school work. “I am trying to teach the team members how to balance everything out.” She wants them to know they can talk to her just like any athletic coach would want for his or her players. “Communication is a big key when it comes to being a student-athlete.”
Simen Johansen, a member of the men’s soccer team, is captain of League of Legends. He too is encouraging his players to work as a team where all members “pull their own weight”.
The team members are excited about the possibilities especially with a new arena that features two separate rooms. “We could invite schools in for competitions,” said Convertino.
Convertino and Johansen see these coaching opportunities as a beneficial experience for their career paths. Johansen will receive a business administration bachelor’s degree and a sports management minor. In the spring of 2019, he took an esports management course and it peaked his interest in the field. Last summer he worked as a bank teller in his native Norway and he learned how the bank was the main sponsor for the Norwegian esports league. Convertino is interested in events management for the esports industry. In addition to her position for the Cougars, she works as a teller at Columbia Bank and in marketing and operations for the New York Red Bull professional soccer club.
The university has launched a Twitch channel where spectators can see matches and cheer on the Cougars at https://www.twitch.tv/caldwelluniversity
In response to the booming global esports businesses and economy, Caldwell’s School of Business and Computer Science began offering a new Bachelor of Science degree this fall in esports management to prepare students for careers in the popular electronic sports gaming industry with opportunities for employment in finance, marketing, event planning, operations, and entertainment.