Game On for Gamers at Lackawanna College Esports Program

It's tucked away. It's high-powered. It's a place not many would expect to find at Lackawanna College.

"It's a small school in northeast PA and when they see this room, their eyes light up," Lackawanna Esports Overwatch Coach Robert Eskra said.

This room is the home of the Lackawanna College Esports program. Yes, video games.

"People outside think 'oh, what do you do at Lackawanna College?'" Lackawanna Esports Overwatch captain Matt West said. "I say I play Esports and they say 'what is that?' and I say I play video games for the college. I'm on scholarship. You can get money playing video games."

"We've turned into a college that people want to go to to join our Esports program," Lackawanna Esports League of Legends captain Alex Rink added. "This room was bare when we started. No computers. Nothing. No decals or anything. Everything has gotten so nice."

"People just don't understand the big picture of it all, but it's just turned into something bigger than I could have ever imagined it to be," West said.

They've got about 30 players now and the team is coed, with a coach for each game. After all, they are athletes.

"Consider it just like a regular, tradition sport," Eskra said. "Except here, as apposed to practicing on a field, they come to this room and they sit at one of the computers and they play their particular game of choice."

"Even though your playing a video game, you treat it like an actual sport," Lackawanna Esports Rocket League player Keenan Lewis said. "So I guess you could say the mindset is all the same. It's just different physicality."

As a program, Lackawanna has three different Esports teams: League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League, but even though these gamers are playing three different games, for these Falcons, birds of a feather clearly flock together.

"We all work together as a team," Lewis said. "We all push each other to the same pace. There's offense and defense in football, but they're all still one team and that's kind of how we look at it."

"It's like any sport," West added. "You think basketball. You have all those guys. They each have a specific position. We have each specific position what we do in the program and we all come back and make one big team for the college itself."

That team is just beginning its second full season, with hopefully many more to come.

"I'm glad that it's here," West said. "It's going to take off and Esports can be the next biggest thing."

At Lackawanna College, it already is. You just have to know where to look.

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