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Concord Preps for Esports Varsity Team

Esports is competitive, organized video gaming that attracts players and spectators from around the world.  Concord was the first public college or university in West Virginia to offer varsity esports to its students.  “Not only will starting a varsity esports team allow more students to compete on the collegiate level, the university hopes to use this as a springboard for future courses,” President Boggess says.   Only seven colleges and universities had varsity esports programs in July of 2016. By 2018, there were 63 institutions. 

Meet Esports Coach, Jake Neerland

Neerland-Headshot-(3).jpgJake Neerland joined Concord's staff in May of 2019. Since then, he has built the esports program from the ground up, taking on not only coaching, but social media, player recruiting, content development, and much more. Before coming to CU, Neerland competed in esports for six years, coached multiple teams, and coordinated with big sponsors, including Blizzard and Twitch. 
 
“Esports is an incredibly difficult industry to get into," Nearland says. "My self-given task is to help anyone interested in esports to have as competitive of a resume as possible."

Neerland comes to Athens, W.Va. from Iowa. He has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in Communication Studies from Iowa State University. In addition to esports experience, his professional background includes social media strategy, community management, marketing, and event management.

Neerland says he took this position at Concord because he was looking for a challenge in his career, but what he found to be the most challenging aspect has been working with a new generation of players.

"Younger generations will always push for improvement, and they don't care what paperwork needs done or obstacles are in their way. They're adept at circumventing anything in their way to achieve their goals. I just help them be more efficient in doing so," Neerland says.

Follow the team on Twitch for live coverage of league matches, and on social media for weekly updates.  

Contact Jake Neerland

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Interested in seeing if you have what it takes to join the team? Click the link below to check our eligibility requirements!

Concord Esports Eligibility Requirements
Concord's Varsity Esports Program is funded by donations. If you would like to support this opportunity for our students, please contact the Office of Advancement at advancement@concord.edu, or call 304-384-5119. Our success begins with you.