Missouri Western took the first step toward launching its new esports programs, announcing that Christian Konczal as the program’s first director/head coach.
“The addition of esports provides students the opportunity to come together and collaborate in a team setting, providing not only recreational opportunities but academic opportunities in a variety of fields,” said Matt Wilson, Missouri Western’s president. “Christian is familiar with both the operational and academic sides of esports and I’m confident he will build an outstanding program that will attract top students and help them develop the critical skills of leadership, communication, team-building and collaboration.”
Konczal is currently an adjunct professor at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont and serves as event staff for the University of Akron Zips Esports in Ohio. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Emergent Media from Champlain and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont.
Esports is organized team-based, multiplayer competitive video gaming. Competitions among collegiate teams and professionals can take place in arenas in front of large audiences and are streamed on the internet or broadcast on television. Collegiate esports is growing, with more than 130 universities nationwide with competitive varsity teams, including 16 in Missouri. Missouri Western will be just the third public university in the state with an esports team.
Konczal will be responsible for building Griffon Esports from the ground up, recruiting varsity and club teams to compete in a variety of video games to be determined by student interest. The program will be structured much like traditional varsity athletics, with team members participating in tryouts, wearing uniforms, maintaining practice schedules and adhering to a code of conduct and academic standards.
For more information, visit missouriwestern.edu/esports. You are invited to offer feedback regarding the esports program at Missouri Western at this link, as well.