Timothy Belloff, director of Information Technology Support Services and Esports, was interviewed for a Jan. 11 article published on ggn00b, an online esports publication.
Belloff discussed how esports teams at universities are still very new—like Arcadia’s team, which debuted in the 2019-20 season—and the challenges of combating the COVID-19 pandemic in the beginning of their programs.
“When it first hit and athletics were cancelled, our administration included Esports into the cancellations,” said Belloff. “We had to ask this to be reconsidered, as esports is in the unique position to be able to compete remotely with no physical contact with other athletes.”
Since the decision to allow the Esports teams to compete last spring, the program at Arcadia has continued to recruit, add new games, practice, and compete without the use of campus and the arena. For the spring season, Arcadia will add two new games, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Rainbow Six Siege to the roster, and be coached by recent hire Aidan Obritz.
Belloff also said that the program offers much more than a space to compete in esports competitions. Arcadia Esports has a diversity and gender inclusion policy that is regulated by the “Team Norms,” to encourage anyone to participate, but also provides academic monitoring, access to varsity sports training facilities, and the opportunity for students to prepare for possible careers in eSports.
“Many of our players help in all aspects of our program including recruiting, coaching, casting and production of esports content,” stated Belloff. “If you are looking to do more than just play games, we have an opportunity for you.”