Terra State set to launch esports program

Esports is coming to the Terra State Community College campus this week, led by the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association, according to Mike Daigneault.

Daigneault, who leads the college’s esports program with assistant coach Adam Dirnberg, said Terra esports was originally conceptualized on a club-oriented basis, like many two- and four-year colleges. of the region. The program, however, will run team-based competitions, under the guidance of a larger sports governing body, he said.

“We will be under the NJCAA,” Daigneault said, noting that the sanctioning body is separate from the NCAA.

Daigneault, who teaches computer information systems at Terra State, said the esports program will be conducted under a set of rules defined by the association, not those determined by individual clubs. Although the league has been around for five years, the coach said, there are no schools in the area that Terra can compete against, so they automatically find themselves on a higher level of challenge.

“We’re going straight to the national championships,” he said.

Qualifying will take place in September

Terra’s program will host a qualifying event on September 3, and new video games have been included for the team’s competition. In addition to offerings such as “Valorant”, “Overwatch” and “Rocket League”, the program added Nintendo games “Smash Bros” and “Mario Cart”.

In terms of popularity, Daigneault said, the NJCCA recently projected an approximate audience for its competitions at 200,000, but was surprised to find spectators in the millions. Interest in Terra’s program has been intense, he said, bringing together talent from across the region, including students who would otherwise have attended other colleges. Recruitment was therefore easy.

“I bring students to find me, says Daigneault.” I don’t need to go get them.”

Superior systems and facilities

Another reason for the Terra team’s popularity is the recent creation of a games room on the third floor of campus building B, with 27-inch monitors and a fiber optic direct line completely separate from other computer systems on the campus. middle School. The system, Daigneault said, is three to four times faster than the system at Tiffin University’s esports club. He added that he met with representatives from Ohio State Universities and Akron at a recent conference who expressed envy of the Terra setup.

“They were jealous that we had a direct fiber link,” he said.

The coach said he is delighted that the esports program he started simply to provide students with something to do outside of traditional extracurricular activities has become what it is.

Although training individual competitors in individual video games presents similar challenges to individual track and field events, Daigneault said the job is satisfying. He also credited much of the program’s success to the support of the college’s leadership, particularly Terra President Ron Schumacher.

“This guy is phenomenal,” he said.

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Ryan H. Bowman