Written by: Kyle Sobieski | MIX 99.5 – Wilmington
Photo by Chris Thelen/Getty Images
Pennsylvania College of Technology’s first esports season took a turn for the unexpected, after being projected to earn a championship in Fortnite.
Although COVID-19 ended their gaming season prematurely, Joshua Young, coach of Penn College of Technology’s esports program has kept an optimistic view on the matter.
From varsity and club esports tournaments, to college curriculum focused on gaming, CheckpointXP On Campus delivers more than just stats and scores. Let’s Play.
Young spent many late nights and weekends putting together the esports Wildcat Den, which includes 14 high-end gaming computers for competition along with a streaming station made accessible for viewers online. The esports collegiate program at Penn College was financed and funded with the help of a state grant for new initiatives. Like other competitive esports leagues, the Penn College program operates through the National Association of Collegiate Esports. This nonprofit association began in 2016 with six schools and now has more than 170 members along with more than 5,000 players who compete for $16 million in the form of esports scholarships and aid.
Coach Joshua Young stated, “You will see pretty much every collegiate campus have some level of esports.”
Penn College has 44 players, 28 who are starters. The program competes in games such as Rocket League, League of Legends, Smite, Apex Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Fortnite, and iRacing. Their members come from all over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.
Penn College’s Fortnite team (Tyler Colangelo, of New Castle, Delaware, and Brendan Martin, of Lebanon, New Jersey) had quite the support system behind them. The duo team was projected to make it to finals at DreamHack in Atlanta, Georgia, at the end of April, and furthermore, had incredibly high chances of winning. DreamHack Atlanta is said to offer an overall prize of $25,000 fro the Fortnite championship according to Joshua Young.
With the optimism and encouragement of their coach, the Penn College esports team will continue working together and training over the summer in preparation for the fall semester.
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It’s our turn in the gaming community to show our support for the heroes on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and Make It Blue. This will take many forms, and your creativity is encouraged! We all have something special we offer to the gaming community. Whether it be a live stream, fan art, music, memes, singing, cosplay, or even competitive esports, you have something to offer. And we’re asking you to make that special something blue! Use #MakeItBlue as you show off the special twist on your talents!