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College coach takes part in national esports convention

The Wildcat Den provides a fitting studio for Young's participation in a national esports convention.
The Wildcat Den provides a fitting studio for Young’s participation in a national esports convention.

Joshua D. Young, founding coach of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s esports program and a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports Board of Directors, remotely participated in the third annual NACE National Convention (July 22-24).

Young – employed as a learning systems administrator in the college’s Office of Instructional Technology – participated in several sessions from the Wildcat Den, dedicated esports space on the second floor of Madigan Library. (While necessitated by COVID-19 precautions for the event, casting from campus also allowed Young to show off the facility to his online colleagues.)

The coach was a mentor for a Wednesday program, highlighting the benefit to classroom instruction of the technologies explored through esports.

A "group selfie" captures Thursday's lighthearted morning free-for-all.
A “group selfie” captures Thursday’s lighthearted morning free-for-all.

“The big topic of interest at the conference was schools that developed academic programs alongside their esports teams. This is the next step we are seeing in collegiate esports, and it is exciting to see the industry support these schools in this endeavor,” Young said. “These programs are based off management and marketing degrees, with graphic design and web and interactive media added in.”

Thursday opened with a “Morning Show” in which Young spoke of his love of sim racing and his hopes of adding an iRacing league to NACE competition. The group chatted about managing programs this fall in the midst of the pandemic, games currently being played and setting up Twitch streams on their respective campuses.

Young's bio slide, prepared in conjunction with his representation on a NACE panel
Young’s bio slide, prepared in conjunction with his representation on a NACE panel

He also sat on a second-day panel that relayed the experiences and challenges of “Esports at a Public Institution,” focusing on building programs, creating facilities and marketing. He was joined in that discussion by Katherine Ranzenberger, Central Michigan University; Michael Cassens, University of Montana; and Joshua Steger, Potomac State College of West Virginia University.

The convention’s final day included votes on proposed legislation to further built esports into the collegiate landscape.

“I am really looking forward to our upcoming season, which will start the week of Sept. 28,” Young said, adding that the team will compete in Rocket League, League of Legends, Overwatch and Valorant.


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