The world of eSports is always changing and evolving, and over the past few years, it has absolutely exploded. Even more recently, schools have been putting more focus on esports, and to further that mission, Averett University in Virginia has hired a head coach for their esports program, Oscar Manzano.
Oscar Manzano’s appointment marks a pretty serious emphasis on the importance of an esports foundation. Just like in traditional sports, coaches significantly help players improve themselves where players might not fully reach their potential. To make Manzano’s new position even more special, he has been with Invisible Threat Gaming, a semi-pro gaming organization, as well as an Overwatch team manager and a Hearthstone assistant team manager. With experience in recruiting, training, and evaluating players, as well as coaching and analyzing play, it only made sense for Averett University to bring Manzano aboard.
“I am very grateful and excited to begin working with Averett University on their first esports program along with visionary leaders at Averett such as President Dr. Tiffany Franks and Director of Athletics Meg Stevens,” said Oscar in the annoucement. “Collegiate esports is in its infancy and I am strongly confident that in the coming years, campuses across the United States will open its doors and host esports programs of their own. Last year, when Averett announced its new esports program, it proved that not only was it not afraid to try something new but also that Averett University will become a leader in college esports.”
The Averett University esports program truly is still in its infancy, however, as it was only established last year in 2017. However, despite it being so young, it is the only four-year University in Virginia to add a varsity Esports program. It is also a part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports and the Collegiate Starleague, which are both leagues that allow the Averett’s esports team to compete against division I and II schools across the country.
The Averett University esports program currently has 11 teams for the various games that the program supports, and those games are the following:
- Call of Duty
- CS: GO
- Street Fighter
- League of Legends
- Rocket League
- Smash Bros
“With the appointment of Oscar Manzano, Averett makes its commitment to the future of competitive, intellectual team gaming,” Franks said in the announcement. “Averett is thrilled to welcome Coach Manzano as we help lead this new frontier in sport competition that allows students to hone their skills as critical thinkers, problem-solvers and effective communicators while pursuing their passion for competitive gaming.”
Manzano will begin his new position at Averett University on July 9.