The ECPI Rams Open Tryouts to ALL Active Students, at All Locations and Online!
By Mike Glover, ECPI University Athletic Director
No one wants the current state of the world caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, but as the rest of the world tries to figure out how to operate in this new environment, esports is thriving! And the ECPI Rams are busy preparing for the fall season of collegiate esports.
NEW THIS YEAR
As the pandemic wreaks havoc on traditional collegiate sports schedules, such as football, basketball, etc., esports can compete remotely and in a safe, completely socially distant environment. As such, NACE (the National Association of Collegiate Esports) has lifted the requirement to play from campus through 2022. This opens the ability for us to recruit, train, and field players from every ECPI University campus location and all online students as well.
2020 Summer Tryouts – The ECPI University Rams had record attendance at this summer’s tryouts with over 150 interested students from all campus locations and online scheduling a tryout.
Expanded Game List – The current circumstances also allow us to expand the game list significantly. For tryouts this year, students were able to chose from over 19 different titles, including console (PS, Xbox, etc.) titles.
Aligning the teams – With all these new titles and overwhelming interest, we had to restructure the teams/games a little bit. Each player that tried out will be placed into one of three categories of team, based on their skill level and/or the level of participation or interest for a particular game.
The three levels of teams are described here:
- Varsity Teams – This is for the highest-ranking players for any game in which we field a team. NOTE: Not all games will have a Varsity squad. Varsity Team members may be eligible for scholarships. Varsity teams also have scheduled practice requirements, up to five times each week with the coach. These are our most competitive teams we field and will have the best chance for success in the collegiate seasons.
- Junior Varsity Teams – This is for players who may not be ready to compete at the highest level in collegiate esports, however, have shown promise and may advance at some point to a Varsity roster spot. Junior Varsity players have a dedicated practice day with the coach and must attend one practice per week and have additional practice requirements each week on their own.
- Supported Game Teams – This is for game titles where we have enough interest to field a team, however, most, or all, of the players are still learning the basics of competitive play. These teams will have a dedicated Team Captain (student) who will work with the team to select practice times and communicate with the coaches. If the team shows they are capable of dedicated practices, they will be allowed to compete under the coordination and supervision of the head coach. Team captains will meet weekly with the coaches to discuss team progress, attendance, practice, and improvement techniques, etc.
All team members will receive official ECPI Rams Jersey’s and be listed on the ECPI Rams team page as a team member!
Needless to say, the coaches are very excited about the coming fall season and the roster/game expansions. This opens our program up to a much larger section of the student body and therefore brings greater opportunity for students from across the university to participate and compete. The soft-skills learned competing in esports (teamwork, communication, conflict resolution, sportsmanship, and more) will serve these students well as they complete their education and transition into the workforce.