Students in field

Athletic Director Curtis Wittenberg Talks Esports

January 24, 2020

On this week’s episode of Finlandia Fridays host, Olivia Myers is joined by FinnU’s athletic director, Curtis Wittenberg to chat about the new varsity Esports program beginning this fall.

Esports is organized, competitive online gaming that allows multiple players to participate in competitions. Esports is one of the fastest-growing sports at the collegiate level. Online gaming has been linked to improved memory, concentration, and analytical development but, it also provides an opportunity for social development through teamwork and communication.

“There are three to five players and normally they are hooked up to headsets, communicating back and forth, competing against other teams, whether it is in the same space or across the country,” said Wittenberg. “You have different skill development that is similar to any other athletic program, with teamwork and communication.

“So that’s how it differs. A lot of people think its just one-on-one or against the game itself.”

The Esports program looks to meet its goal of 20 students to fill their co-ed roster and for a permanent location on FinnU’s main campus to house the program.

“The goal is to have that figured out in early spring, so we can start renovating that space,” said Wittenberg. “To have some kind of lounge associated with it, maybe a couple of big TVs, so when we are at a competitive event then maybe we can stream those.”

The director and student-athletes will choose what games are played based on skillset and interests. Some possible games include League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Fortnite. Esports has been on FinnU’s radar for some time now. A student survey showed that over 50 percent of FinnU students currently are active in esports or gaming and 55 percent expressed an interest in playing in the fall.

A full-time director search has begun, those interested in the position are able to apply here. Students who are interested in the Esports program should fill out an application here. For more information about Esports contact athletic director Curtis Wittenberg at (906) 487- 7214 or at curtis.wittenberg@finlandia.edu.




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