Sutton hired as WSC's first eSports coordinator

Wayne State is proud to announce the hiring of Nick Sutton as the college’s first eSports coordinator.

The college’s new eSports team will begin competition in the fall in collegiate eSports through the Eastern College Athletics Conference (ECAC). The new eSports team joins a robust collection of club sports and intramural activities that are strong components of the extracurricular experience at the college.

Sutton, who was born in Omaha and moved around the world with his family due to his father’s service in the United States Air Force, is coming to Wayne State from Radford University in Virginia, where he was founder of the university’s eSports Club. He majored in recreation, parks, and tourism with a double concentration in outdoor recreation and leadership and special events and tourism at Radford. He will be pursuing a Master of Science in Organizational Management sport and recreation concentration at Wayne State.

“At Wayne State College I want to create an exciting and inclusive eSports community,” Sutton said. “I plan on networking with staff and academic departments to excel in the areas of growth, recruitment, and student retention. This includes the implementation of eSports scholarships, community intramural leagues, and collaboration with surrounding high schools.”

John Schwarte, who oversees intramural sports, club sports, and eSports at Wayne State as campus recreation coordinator, said the college has about 15 students who have shown strong interest in competing for the college this fall. He said Wayne State has been busy this spring coordinating the construction of Wayne State’s eSports arena, The Den, which will be located in the Kanter Student Center. The arena will feature 12 high-end PCs and all the necessary accessories that the team will use for practice and competition, along with flat-screen television displays for spectator viewing during competitions.

“I am incredibly excited to bring Nick onto campus to be our first eSports graduate assistant,” Schwarte said. “His experience building a collegiate eSports program and his competitive experience set him apart from all the other candidates. Nick is a driven individual who met and far exceeded my criteria in the hiring process.”

“Upon completion of the eSports arena, I will be building and inspiring competitive teams of athletes who will be representing WSC in the ECAC eSports league,” Sutton said. “My goals for these teams are to provide a healthy competitive eSports environment and give them a professional eSports experience during their time at WSC. I would like to see this become a top tier eSports program in the Midwest.”

Sutton’s experience in eSports started as a student at Radford University. Not only did he start Radford’s club, he is currently completing an accredited internship solely focused on building a foundation for Radford to successfully launch a full scale eSports program. Sutton also worked with Radford High School to help them start an eSports program that now competes in the Virginia High School League.

Sutton’s experiences have included playing for semi-professional teams across the U.S. He has played for Shattered Dreams eSports, ImPerium Gaming, and is currently signed with Tenacity Dragons eSports. He has competed among the top 1% of players in the game, placed in the top 150 teams in North America, and said he plans on playing in the Olympic qualifiers in 2021.

Sutton will lead Wayne State’s team in competition in games such as FIFA, Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Madden, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate in ECAC and additional games offered competitively through other tournaments and leagues.

ECAC hosts a comprehensive eSports program that presently involves 23 schools fielding 107 teams in Divisions I, II, and III. The ECAC’s eSports platform is expanding the geographic footprint of the conference nationally.

Intramurals and club sports are a strong part of the Wayne State experience. Nearly 700 students participated in intramural programs in 2019-20, and 150 students compete in club sports. Wayne State club sports include the new eSports team as well as wrestling, men’s and women’s rugby, coed curling, coed bowling, men’s soccer, and men’s volleyball.

The Wayne Herald

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