Athletics may add esports


Christian Richey

Members of the campus ESports Club say they're hoping AACC will make esports an official Athletics Department program. Pictured, left to right: club members Brandon Gebhardt, Alex Kimble and Conway Johnson.

Christian Richey, Associate Editor

AACC Athletics officials this semester are continuing to look into creating an official esports team after the National Junior College Athletic Association offered official governance for the sport.

“The demographic around the college is suitable toward having an esports program and we want to be able to offer something that more students can get involved in,” Athletics Director Duane Herr said. “I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for us.” 

Herr said his department has been researching esports for the past year as the staff considers adding it as an official sport.

Herr and other Athletics officials visited Northern Virginia Community College, home to an esports program and facility, in September.

Campus ESports Club founder Conway Johnson said he hopes for an official team to better organize players.
“We had a previous Smash Brothers group going … and we were working on getting groups together for other teams,” he said. “But the problem that we ran into was just a matter of getting players together and organized,” Johnson said.  

Johnson noted the need for a regimented structure. “As a club we’re not really able to offer that in the way we’d need … to really get teams going in a big way,” he said. 

Club members said the team would benefit them.

“That would be amazing; we have so many people who are interested in actually playing seriously,” club President Joie Frank, a second-year undecided student, said.

Club Treasurer Dallas Coleman, a fourth-year music student, said he “would love an actual Athletics team, like to have actual support for it. Then we’d get a lot of teams going.”

NJCAA Chief External Affairs and Development Officer Brian Luckett said college registration for the esports program opened in September, with a shortened inaugural season to start in the second week of October.