For Immediate Release
Contact: Holly Straka, Marketing & Recruitment Assistant
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: June 7, 2021
Southwest Tech Launches Esports ClubFennimore -
Students at Southwest Wisconsin Technical College now have the opportunity to participate in a new club sport on campus. Led by Kelsey Pagel, an IT Network Specialist student, the college is now part of the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports. For those not familiar with the term, Esports refers to a world of competitive, organized video gaming. This year’s team consisted of 17 students, all from various programs at the college. They participated in a two-year college league and two of the rosters advanced to the playoffs.
Getting the college into the league was no easy feat. Aaron Halvorson, faculty advisor and Network Communications Specialist instructor, mentioned the interest to Pagel, knowing her organizational skills and she ran with it. Pagel put in a lot of time and effort, for which she states “it was all worth it.” Her duties involved getting the team set up on the league website, creating a discord where teammates can talk and hangout, and lots of scheduling for both practices and games. She even set up a scrim (or practice) with other area colleges.
Since the league is nationwide, students were also able to connect with other players across the country. They met students from New York, Kansas, California and Michigan. This year the team competed in nine games, with 3-5 students on each roster.
Practices were held each night and despite the fact students came from different programs like Graphic and Web Design, Early Childhood Education, and Electro-Mechanical Technology, they became quick friends. “I was really shocked how quickly everyone came together and the friendships that were made. Most of us are quiet, introverted people and now we hang out every single day,” said Pagel.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students all played virtually this year, so they haven’t been together at all in person. However, they are hoping that will change for the upcoming academic year. The hope is to have a space on campus where they can all play and practice together. “There is opportunity to travel to other schools to play. And if we make the playoffs, the league will fly you to the championships,” stated Pagel.
For more information on the NJCAA, and the titles available, visit their website at www.njcaa.org/esports.