Paradise Valley Community College’s Esports Club for gamers is coming off of a very successful first season. The club is comprised of many video gamers in various leagues including Rocket League, Call to Duty, Smash Brothers, and League of Legends. Serious gamers competed, while others played just for fun.
“In our first season of Competitive eSports, PVCC players displayed a high level of excellence and integrity, even when faced with challenges throughout the last few months.They held themselves to high ethical and academic standards, and displayed diversity and inclusion in action when taking in and adopting players from other campuses, and by accepting and valuing their coaches, who identify differently than the ‘gamer’ norm,” said Josh Moss, coach of the League of Legends team and an adjunct faculty in the Video Game Production program. “I am truly proud of our teams and extremely excited to see how they continue to improve over these next few seasons. Be on the lookout, PVCC eSports is just getting started!”
Anthony Cicinelli, vice president of the Esports Club, participated on Smash Brothers’ team of five individuals and said his team met either virtually or in person at least once a month to practice and sharpen their skill sets.
“I had never competed in professionally organized tournaments before Esports,” said Cicinelli, a spring PVCC graduate moving on to Grand Canyon University in the Fall to pursue a degree in Software Engineering. “It’s been a lot of fun and I have met a lot of people that I otherwise wouldn’t have.”
Cicinelli said the program experienced a lot of growth this year with many of the pandemic restrictions easing. More teams were able to meet in person and the word spread a bit more. Looking ahead to next year, the club has high hopes for even more participants and making it even more competitive with possible tryouts. However, Professor Ryan Stone, who oversees the program and activities said there is always room for anyone who wants to give gaming a try and play at a more casual level.
In addition to the Club, PVCC regularly hosts Game Night at the Union Hills campus that not only includes video games, but board games and razor games as well.
“It’s a great way to get involved on campus and meet new people,” Stone said. “You can even bring a family member with you.”
Game Night and Esports Club are for gamers 12-23 years old. While there are several events in the works for the summer months, the Club will start up again in the fall 2022 for competitive rosters. PVCC was recently awarded Talent Waiver money to use for the Esports program, and plans to award scholarships to Esports players who make competitive rosters in Spring 2023. Additionally, the Maricopa Esports League will begin some time in late January or early February 2023, so keep an eye out for more details in the fall.
Zachary Kozak, a member of this year’s Rocket League team, said the club has a little bit of something for everyone.
“I gained serious connections with my teammates that I was not expecting,” he said. “We practiced generally once a week, learning new strategies, new ways of communication, and other ways we can play better.” Kozak also graduated this spring with an associate’s degree in Video Game Production.
Video Game Production AAS
Many of the students who participate in eSports Club are part of PVCC’s new associate’s degree VGP program, aimed at working in the video game industry in a variety of capacities. Areas of specialization include:
- Coding and scripting
- Game writing
- Game art
- Audio and sound design
PVCC’s gaming community is comprised of individuals passionate for video games. Completion of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree in VGP can lead to immediate employment in the industry, while allowing you to continue your education at a university and deepen your knowledge in specific areas.
To learn more about PVCC’s VGP program visit the website or contact Ryan Stone at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or James Loop at email@example.com. Students, either incoming or returning, interested in Esports opportunities or the club can also contact Stone or Loop.