Proudly Highlighting NOVA’s Winning Esports Program in Celebration of World Esports Day 

October 20, 2023

Esports is a fast-growing global phenomenon, and NOVA is showcasing our Esports program for World Esports Day, which takes place on Saturday, October 21. 


Our College has established itself as a contender in collegiate esports, having won six national championships in the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE) and other championships against all colleges. The strong sense of community among team members sets NOVA’s Esports program apart. 

It’s time to introduce Karim Rahim, one of the newest members of NOVA’s Esports program. Karim had already been seriously considering NOVA, but after seeing the College’s Esports webpage, he quickly decided to become a Nighthawk. And this first-semester student wasted no time trying out for Esports. What surprised him most about NOVA’s Esports program, though, were the high skill level and strong camaraderie. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background: 
It’s my first semester after graduating from Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax. I’ve been at NOVA for two months now. 

What brought you to NOVA? 
I initially thought about going to school at NOVA. But then I randomly came upon NOVA's Esports team webpage, and I’m good at video games. Then I thought, Why not? I signed up for NOVA, tried out for the Esports program and made it. 

Since I started, I’ve been having a great time playing and winning. I love this, and it’s honestly one of the best decisions I’ve made so far! It’s just the community; ever since I joined, I’ve been playing with these guys every day, and it feels like we’re a brotherhood now. 

I was surprised I got into the Esports program and was selected for the Valorant varsity team. The tryouts were fun but had to be done online instead of in the Esports team rooms, called NOVA’s Esports Arena, because there were so many people. Although my parents are proud of me, they want my education to be my top priority. 

What are you studying at NOVA? 
My major is engineering for cybersecurity, which has always been my plan. But this esports thing, we’ll see how it goes. It's just that we're getting lots of recognition and we could win many big tournaments. NOVA is very good at giving the players the recognition they deserve. We play tournaments, stream live on Twitch and everything, and we’re good! So that’s how we get recognized. 

Who knows what could happen? We could go big! I could possibly take this full time. Then I wouldn't have to worry about studying since professional gamers make good money off tournaments. You can make good money if you become an entertainer, like posting on YouTube, Twitch or anything. 

Tell us about your experience at NOVA, i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met.  
I had no clue how NOVA’s Esports was going to be or anything. I randomly came upon the NOVA Esports page and was like, “Wow, this is interesting — I’m just going to try it out.” And it’s the best thing ever! 

Here, I've met new people who help me with everything. It’s a brotherhood, and we play tournaments and we win! We play professional tournaments against other colleges all the time. We practice four or five days a week. All these colleges are competing against one another for prize pools. The one we’re playing right now is for a $10K or $5K prize pool, and there are around 18 schools. So we have a good chance. 

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA? 
To be honest, I am that person. I’m new here; I just started at NOVA this semester, and these guys [team members] were the ones who answered those questions for me. They were like, “Oh yeah, do Esports. You are good and have potential!” So I said, “Why not?” I’m making sure I’m doing well in school — we all hold each other accountable. It's nice! 

I definitely do lots of schoolwork. All my teammates are older than me. They’ve been at NOVA longer than I have, so they all help me with everything I need. It’s nice, yeah. I love it here. 

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring? 
I plan to transfer to George Mason and earn my bachelor’s and master’s in cybersecurity.  

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