The esports program at Simpson now offers scholarships to help first-year students compete at the collegiate level.
The program competes in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), the largest esports conference in the country. NACE currently has 600 schools and 14,500 students competing. The sport continues to grow every year and offers more students the opportunity to do what they love.
Hubert Van Tong, Director of Exports at Simpson, talks about the new scholarship and the opportunities it offers to first-year students.
“It is similar to traditional athletics. Since we are not the NCAA, we are able to have scholarships regardless of Division II status on campus,” Whan Tong said. “Any upcoming first year that will qualify the scholarship, we Do some basic background on that, work with the student, and then award scholarships based on merit.”
The scholarship is similar to athletics: students must meet GPA requirements and responsibilities for the team. Teams practice eight to ten hours weekly, but players have 24-hour access to the gaming area for extra practice.
First-year student Dean Lantz is one of the players currently on scholarship. He talked about why he chose Simpson and what the new scholarship has done for him.
“I thought it was a good place for me to be close to home and be able to do the work I’ve loved for years, and be able to make money doing it. It was being told that It was a great feeling that I could actually be paid to play a video game.”
Lantz will compete for the Storm in the Rocket League, but said he has also started playing League of Legends since arriving on campus. He said it would be his first time competing in an official Rocket League tournament.
“I play tournaments scheduled to them in the game, but I’ve never played in tournaments against other guys. Coming here will give me a chance because Monday is our first match.
Zayden is another first year student on Erdman scholarship. he said he originally came
Simpson on a football tour and discovered an esports program shortly thereafter. He talks about what esports means to him
“It definitely takes a little practice, especially for the game I play: Rocket League. I’ve been playing it for three years, and I’m still improving every day and trying to get better.” ,” Erdman said. “I’m not attending this semester because of football, but I’ll be more active next semester.”
The Storm won their first Rocket League match of the year on Monday, September 19, and SimpsonSports will broadcast all games on Twitch throughout the season.
Valorant and Rocket League are currently two games into the Storm’s season.