Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:
As we are always searching for new ways to enrich the student experience, I’m excited to announce that the University of Redlands is launching an esports program offering students opportunities to engage in healthy competition, teamwork, and integrated academic programs.
This may be the first time some of us have heard of esports—video games played in a highly controlled, competitive environment— but many of our students are likely among the millions of viewers and participants in this popular enterprise. Esports is rapidly growing through professional-level teams and is now being adopted by colleges and universities nationwide. Redlands will be among more than 175 institutions officially offering a varsity esports program.
To establish esports at Redlands, we have welcomed Jacob Beach as program director. Jacob brings nine years of esports experience as a player, coach, manager, and analyst. He spent the past four years developing collegiate esports in the Pacific Northwest. His impressive career includes two junior college national titles for Overwatch and Smash Ultimate at Centralia College.
Jacob is currently working with our campus partners to designate and design the esports “arena,” which will be open to all students for casual use, participation in the esports program, and coaching sessions. The program will launch with the opening of the arena for the Fall 2023 term.
The full, collegiate, student-athlete esports experience will include weekly practices, matches, workouts, team building, and travel. There are also opportunities for non-competitive gamers to be involved and receive hands-on experience as team managers, analysts, content creators, and production managers. The program might also include intramural competitions involving students, staff, and faculty of all skill levels competing on campus.
I look forward to the launch of our esports program with the hope that it not only supports our recruitment and retention efforts but also enriches the Redlands experience for our current students.
There will be more information on our esports program available in the coming weeks. For now, anyone interested in learning more should feel free to reach out to Jacob Beach directly at Jacob_Beach@redlands.edu or by phone at 909-748-8245.
Krista L. Newkirk