ETSU announces captains of new esports varsity teams

Published 1:45 pm Friday, May 15, 2020

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JOHNSON CITY – Two highly-skilled gamers have been recruited as team captains for the new esports varsity team at East Tennessee State University.  Both have been awarded scholarships and will be enrolled as students starting this fall.
Xavier Mitchell of Knox County will lead the team competing in Overwatch® and Lucca Weber of Ennepetal, Germany and current Greeneville resident will captain the League of Legends® team.
Mitchell is joining the digital media program and will be a first-time freshman at ETSU.  He received his orange belt in Taekwondo after only seven months of training.  Within the Overwatch® arena, his peak rank was within the top 80 on the North American server.
“I love having a structured environment where all six people are on the same page with strategy,” said Mitchell, who noted that his Overwatch® hero is Winston.  “I am really looking forward to getting to play in a zero ping environment when ETSU goes to the national championship.”
Weber moved to Greeneville in 2018 after graduating from high school in Berufskolleg, Ennepetal.  He is also a graduate of Walters State Community College and will transfer to ETSU and major in environmental health, with the goal of a career in hydrology.  His hobbies include hiking and soccer.
His peak rank in League of Legends® on the North American server is in the top 700 and his favorite hero is Caitlyn.  “I am really excited this program got launched and I can do something competitive with being a nerd,” Weber said.
  Jeff Shell, who is interim coach for the ETSU varsity team, said team members will spend the fall training while also competing in tournaments.
“Though we are competing in the virtual world, there will be an element of physical training for the team,” Shell said.  “We will do light cardio and weight lifting, as it is important to take steps to prevent some of the long-term problems, such as back pain or posture issues, that are associated with extended gaming.”
Shell added that an additional 20 students will be recruited for the Overwatch® and League of Legends® teams and announcements regarding these new team members are forthcoming.
A much-anticipated benefit of being part of the ETSU esports team will be having the opportunity to compete in the new esports arena in the D.P. Culp Student Center.  A new 32-foot video wall is being installed this month to display tournaments and other livestreaming esports events.
Technology available to team members include machines with 9th Gen Intel i7 processors, 512 GB M.2 solid state drives, 25-inch G-sync monitors with 240Hz refresh rate and peripherals such as specialized keyboards, mice and headsets.
“Our team members will have access to the same state-of-the-art equipment that top professionals from around the world are using,” added Brad Engle, interim esports coordinator.
The new esports varsity team is sponsored by ETSU Online.

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