Esports are being added to the Grays Harbor College programs.
Starting in September 2020, a new esports program will begin that will include a local team competing against others in the region.
“Esports is a type of organized, competitive video gaming that emphasizes teamwork, strategic thinking, reflexes and mechanical skill for two teams to compete against each other.”
Grays Harbor joins a number of colleges began offering esports programs over the past few years as the sport grows in popularity.
Grays Harbor College will join Peninsula College and Centralia College, as well as the four-year schools like UW, WSU, WWU, PLU, and CWU with esports teams.
The GHC program will hold four varsity teams, and two junior varsity teams across six gaming titles.
“I’m incredibly excited about the opportunity for our students to represent us at the national level,” said Ralph Hogaboom, Esports Manager at Grays Harbor College. “Esports offers opportunities for skill development in leadership, teamwork, graphic design & video editing, broadcast production, information technology, communications – there’s so much hands-on involvement happening here. And our esports players will have a brand-new state of the art gaming facility, with 12 high-end gaming computers, screens, and chairs.”
Hogaboom, who currently works as a system administrator in the Information Technology department, will serve as the esports manager.
Hogaboom was previously the sponsorship director for Minor League Esports, and has a certificate in Esports Management from University of California at Irvine.
“I’ve been a gamer my whole life, including doing some work designing games myself as a hobby. I’ve come to believe strongly in the importance of inclusive, diverse gaming spaces – we all play better without sexism, racism, bigotry, transphobia – all that toxicity.”
Hogaboom says that this extracurricular activity is similar to other traditional sports offered at the college.
Grays Harbor College Esports teams will begin competition in multiple national leagues, including the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports, Collegiate Star League, PlayVS, TESPA, and National Association of Collegiate Esports. The four varsity teams and titles are League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate.
The two junior varsity teams and titles are Valorant and Fortnite. Players will have the opportunity to compete on more than one team.
Players signed for fall 2020 will be eligible for a $100 esports signing award, with the potential for additional scholarship awards provided the student continues participation and at the discretion of Grays Harbor College.