Shenandoah U eSports visits AACC, offers tips


Speakers from Shenandoah University’s eSports team advise students on how to get a job in gaming.

Arianna Beers, Sports Editor

Getting work experience in the eSports field during college is the best way to land a job in the gaming industry after graduation, speakers from Shenandoah University told AACC eSports Club members in February.

The university’s director of eSports, Joe Gawrysiak, said students should try to find a way to manage tournaments and gaming events while they are still in school because having that experience will help them get jobs later.

“We are training our students to … be able to [run eSports] events while they’re getting their degree so that they can work events when they get out into the industry,” Gawrysiak said.

Gawrysiak added that while the eSports industry encompasses a variety of  jobs, gaming event management is the most successful field.

“Any company or corporation that is in the eSports field needs people with that understanding of event management and running eSports events,” Gawrysiak said, “because there’s a component to event management no matter what you want to do in eSports.”

Also at the assembly were Shenandoah University’s game coach, Joel Oliver, and eSports student coordinator Morgan Keeler. Oliver and Keeler stood on stage sporting red and blue jerseys, like those that athletes wear, to represent their school’s eSports Competition team.

In addition to having a varsity eSports team, Shenandoah offers an eSports major and two minors.

Keeler advised students at AACC who want to enter a career in eSports to get experience running gaming events, such as hosting tournaments where gamers can compete against each other on teams or individually.

“When most people think of eSports they think of the players and the coaches, but there’s a lot more to it,” Conway Johnson, AACC’s ESports Club consultant, said. “[There’s] really a whole ecosystem around [the eSports industry].”

AACC ESports Club President Joie Frank said the club invited the speakers to get insight from professionals on the various eSports-related career paths students can choose from if they aren’t sure where to start.

“We … focus not only on the players, but on other things like team managers and coaches,” Frank, a fourth-year undeclared student, said.

Dallas Coleman, an AACC ESports Club member and fourth-year music student, said the speakers from Shenandoah offered advice to AACC’s players on how to improve their program.

“They spoke about their own eSports program and things we can do to get better and how we can improve our eSports team,” Coleman said.