10 things to know about KSU’s eSports program



Ellie Dundics

The newly created eSports program at Kent State involves joining a community of gamers that forms teams and competes with others nationally and globally.

1. The E-Sports program consists of four teams: Overwatch, Hearthstone, Rocket League and League of Legends, each specializing in their own game. There are varsity and JV teams that are available for tryout, as well as club teams that anyone can participate in.

Club teams are designed to expand the E-Sports program and welcome everyone with any gaming interest. Students are able to establish a team more suitable for themselves.

2. You must have a 2.5 GPA, be a full-time student and take classes on Kent’s main campus to be able to make JV or varsity.

3. The eSports program is more than just a team- it’s a community.

“The second biggest complaint was that students didn’t feel emotionally attached to Kent State,” Steve Toepfer, director of the eSports research lab and Salem eSports team, said. This complaint led to the creation of the program.

4. Discord is a platform for communicating ideas, the creation of new games.

5. Scholarships are available and are applicable for varsity and JV players with a certain criteria requirement for each team.

6. The program streams on Twitch and partners with Tespa. 

Twitch is a streaming website where millions of people come together in creating of their own games. There are live chats while playing and interactions with many people all across the world, according to the Twitch website.

Tespa is a network of college clubs to promote college gaming. They also host a multitude of eSports events and competitions.

7. You don’t need to be a gamer to be part of the program.

Kent State’s E-Sports program is accessible to any student worker that can bring enhancements to the program. 

 8. The E-Sports program is there to talk.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask what is going on with the program,” said Maria Hawkins, the eSports coordinator for the Kent campus. “I have a ‘door is always open’ policy, so I am available anytime for a phone conversation, an email or you can stop in my office at any time.”

9. The eSports team members meet in the basement of the library in room 018.

Meetings are closed off to group members only, and it is recommended to email the program first to set up appointments if interested in trying out or becoming involved.

10. eSports hosts holiday and other special events.

Events such as Valentine’s or Halloween parties offer a sense of community for its members.

Hearthstone tryouts Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 for spring varsity season.

Ellie Dundics is the regionals reporter. Contact her at [email protected]