Coming into the 2021-22 school year, Maverick Esports Head Coach Jacquie Lamm had aspirations of four titles and approximately 20-30 varsity players.
Now that tryouts are concluded, the varsity program is looking upwards of 11 titles and 60 varsity players, including five female students, going above and beyond what Lamm had in mind.
“It has outgrown my expectations,” Lamm said about the second year of the program’s existence.
The program had over 100 students tryout for 10 titles over the summer, shattering the numbers Maverick Esports saw in its first year in 2020. Of those 100 students, 30 of them were incoming freshmen, making an impact before they even stepped foot on campus.
Some of the new titles in the 2021 school year include Call of Duty, Warzone, and Overwatch as well a few solo titles such as Fortnite, Hearthstone, and potentially a Teamfight Tactics team, all of which are still being recruited for Varsity positions.
Lamm believes that having a large selection of titles for students is what sets Minnesota State University, Mankato apart from the university esports programs across the country, as well as the policies in place in the program.
“I know that most schools like to stick to their three or four titles, which is fine, but Minnesota State University, Mankato has such a large student base that we’re able to pull students and new students incoming for a lot more titles,” Lamm said. There is also a zero toxicity policy in place at Maverick Esports, stating that any student that shows toxicity towards the game, opponents, or their teammates will be subject to termination of the program.
“I am very strict with that with our players and I tell that to them before we invite them onto the teams…I’m really happy to say that no one has had any issues, and we’ve already seen improvement in people’s gameplay and communication style when they’re practicing because of that,” Lamm said.
Students that want to be part of something bigger than just the Varsity program can join the Esports and Gaming Student Learning Community on campus. The Learning Community in the campus dorms will surround you with other students who share an interest in gaming, while pairing you up with an upper class mentor to help you improve your gameplay, at the same time as helping you make the transition to college living.
Particularly, Lamm is most excited about the Call of Duty and Warzone teams the program has added to it’s list of titles this year.
“Those are my two favorite teams and I’ll be able to help coach the Warzone team. Actually being able to coach a team this year is something that I’m really excited about.”