Briar Cliff University Unveils New Esports Arena
October 26, 2022
Briar Cliff is proud to announce the inaugural season of Esports at the university and the new Esports Arena. After announcing the addition of Esports in March of 2021, athletics has hired Jack Moerhke as head coach to lead the program. Moerhke has recruited 14 student-athletes, fielding a varsity and junior varsity roster for Esports’ biggest titles, League of Legends and Valorant, along with Apex Legends.
“I would like to thank our sponsors, Sterling, Liberty National Bank, Goldsmith, and Thompson, for helping make this program possible,” says Dr. Patrick Jacobson-Schulte, Interim President, Briar Cliff University. “Esports has been a fast-evolving culture, and Briar Cliff University is excited to embark on this new journey.”
Video games are often an activity for leisure, entertainment, or something to pass the time. The early professional video game player has helped pioneer a new culture and a competition model that resembles professional sports leagues. With that progression, Briar Cliff now joins close to 175 institutions across the country to offer Esports.
“Many people might tune into an Esports competition, but might not understand what is actually taking place,” adds Dr. Jacobson-Schulte. “Many will learn there is an immense amount of teamwork and dedication needed to compete in these games. Each person needs to do their specific job to achieve the win.”
The Charger Valorant team has gotten off to a hot start, and recently took a trip to St. Louis to compete in their first “Campus Clutch” event and first Local Area Network (LAN). The student-athletes were able to experience their first in-person competition, along with a cruise ship tour and the opportunity to meet Riot employees, the creators of Valorant and League of Legends.
“I want to thank Briar Cliff University for giving me the opportunity to coach and lead Charger Esports,” says Jack Moehrke, Head Coach of Charger Esports. “This is just the start, we look to continue building, and bringing in more athletes in various different titles to expand our program.”
Academic programs such as graphic design, digital communications, and computer science, are all big components of the Esports culture. Broadcasting and sports information practices are now prevalent in Esports, with color commentary, stat tracking, and live videos on demand. Sports management also help students interested in professional gaming, as they can learn how to manage and host events or become an agent and represent players during contract negotiations.
The Esports Arena has 15 gaming stations, multiple TVs to support active games, and interactive retro games for entertainment. The program is anticipated to continue to grow in student-athletes and titles.