In November of 2020, Albion College officially hired Karlo Delos Angeles as the director and head coach of its new Esports program. This is Albion’s first official esports team, and it began with the arrival of College President Mathew Johnson and his administration. The esports team first began as a Super Smash club. Though that organization still exists on campus, the team has since turned into a full scale team. As of Feb. 3, Albion’s esports team is officially a part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).
The new esports team will call the computer lab in Ferguson Hall home for the short-term future. The long-term home is something Delos Angeles said he is excited for. He said Herrick Theatre is the plan for a long-term space. The esports team will move into the theatre space once the theatre department gets its new place on campus.
Albion’s team will be playing Overwatch, Madden (or any EA sports title), Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Rocket League, Fortnite, League of Legends, Valorant and Dragonball Fighterz. These games encompass a wide variety of games that are at the forefront of the esports world.
Despite the range of games the team already plans to play, Delos Angeles said he is open to other games as well.
“As long as we have the player base or team for it, we can run it,” said Delos Angeles.
The esports program is focused on creating community and competition as well as re-defining what it means to be a student-athlete gamer.
“I want this to be an opportunity for students who were never given that opportunity, because I was in that spot where I didn’t get the opportunity until later on. If there’s a way that I can, and the team can bring them in, I want to do that,” said Delos Angeles.
The community around esports is known to be a welcoming environment. Something Delos Angeles and Albion plan to add to.
“It’s been really nice, all the teams are awesome and when competition comes it’s that right amount of competitiveness. We can still be a tight-knit community and still have that competitive drive,” said Delos Angeles.
Delos Angeles said that he has always been around the esports world. Growing up loving video games, he turned it into a career. He is a former streamer for Aura Gaming and Ice Storm Gaming. In addition to coaching Albion esports, he is now an announcer for Aura Gaming.
The change from gamer to announcer has been something Delos Angeles said he has enjoyed.
“It’s nice to be able to sit back and watch people play. There’s no stress, and it’s honestly more fun,” said Delos Angeles.
Esports has taken the world by storm over the past several years and won’t stop anytime soon. Delos Angeles said one of the next steps is to be recognized by the NCAA. He says NACE is great, but NCAA recognition carries more weight.
Albion’s esports team is set to start competition in fall of 2021. Once competition begins, competitions will be available to watch through the team’s twitch (albionbritsesports).