By: Jaydon Dennis
Hello everyone. This article details a new look at our Esports team by hearing directly from our team members. Three of our hard-working athletes will discuss the reasoning for all of their work in this new sport. These students are providing an opening into the life of an aspiring Esports Student-Athlete. The three athletes are Graciela Perez, a League of Legends Competitor, Jacob Schemmel, a Fortnite competitor, and Sam Swenor, a Call of Duty competitor.
Here’s Graciela Perez’s story:
“When I was a kid, my father was really into sports, and he tried his best to force his passion of sports onto me. I tried baseball, basketball, volleyball, everything, and I was terrible at all of them. Eventually one night when my dad was playing video games, he sat me down and decided to have me play instead. I instantly loved playing video games, and it didn’t take long for my dad to get me my own computer. Almost every night I was playing games with my dad, and it was something we could bond over. Obviously, my dad couldn’t play video games with me all the time, so I made my own friends online. Gaming became a way for me to build a community and have a fun time. When I came to Clarke University, I told my dad that I might not be a star athlete on the softball team, but he could watch me play the games that he taught me instead. The esports team at Clarke has been nothing but a great experience. My freshmen year I was worried that I wouldn’t make any friends, only to find a family in the esports team. I have met so many great people, and I have learned a lot through the amazing coaches. I really feel like I could turn to the coaches for anything if I ever have an issue. They have not only helped me to grow as a player but as a person.”
Jacob Schemmel’s Story:
“I joined the Esports program for Clarke University because it was something I always wanted to do. Playing videogames is a passion of mine and if I could play my favorite game, which is Fortnite, for my University, I would not pass up that offer. When I first committed to Clarke, I heard that there was an Esports team. Before I started my first year at Clarke, the new Esports coach, Henry Johnston, reached out to me and was wondering if I would still be interested in doing Esports for the school. My family and I set up a meeting with him to learn more about the program. After the meeting, I decided that I would love to be a part of this program. Eventually my family and I met with my coach and were the first person to officially commit to be part of the team. Since then, Esports has been amazing. My coach is very flexible and pushes me to do better and be a better person. I am so thankful for this opportunity, and I hope to grow this program with my coach and teammates for the next four years at Clarke University.”
Finally, Sam Swenor’s Story:
“When I received an email about joining Esports I was ecstatic. I had played games all my life and now I could give a shot at playing on a team competitively. Despite my inexperience with the competitive scene, I took a chance not knowing anything but willing to learn about CoD’s intricate details. Right now, I am glad to say that it has been a great journey. I have met a bunch of people who are really cool and friendly. I have been able to get better at the game through tons of practice and dedication. It also helps that everyone on the team is so open to help me get better. While I do put a lot of time into this game to get better, I still have fun with it, playing with everyone at Clarke has been a blast and I wish to continue doing it. My experience with the Clarke Esports program has overall been positive. I am very grateful that I can play with everyone.”
Now that you have heard their stories, I hope it is apparent how many interesting perspectives and points of view we have on our Esports team! With this new look at Esports, does this sound like something you or your friends would be interested in? If so, tune in to watch their matches or come join the team and try it out. Go Clarke Pride!!!