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Northern Virginia Community College kicks off new esports program with inaugural head coach, new esports arena and team tryouts Friday

esports

ANNANDALE, Va. (Sept. 21, 2018) -  The Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) “Nighthawks” Esports team is pleased to announce that Christopher Gaul has been signed as its inaugural head coach and director.  Gaul will be at the helm as the team is built, trains, and competes in esports at the highest levels of intercollegiate competition.

“We are thrilled to have Chris come in to lead the new Nighthawks Esports program” said College-wide Student Life Director, Brian Anweiler.

Gaul is graduate of Allegheny College (Pennsylvania) and holds a degree in economics.  He was an assistant in the college’s Student Involvement Office, a resident advisor and completed an internship in the Residence Life Office. He is a skilled esports athlete who helped develop the esports initiative at his alma mater.  He most recently served as a consultant for Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio, helping to develop a feasibility study aimed at bringing esports to that campus. 

“I am honored to call myself a NOVA Nighthawk,” said Gaul, who also serve as a Student Engagement Specialist in the College-wide Office of Student Life.  “I’m ecstatic about bringing my esports expertise to such a strong and established college.  The new program will offer countless opportunities for current and future students.”

NOVA is already a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).  NACE, formed in 2016 and with more than 80 members, is a non-profit membership organization serving member institutions by developing the structure and tools to advance varsity esports. In March, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), a national association with over 500 member institutions, recognized NACE as the governing body of collegiate esports soon after the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) recognized the program.

“Thanks to NACE, our esports team can now compete in a more formal environment and represent the NOVA Nighthawks,” said Anweiler.

A new, “Esports Arena” has been built on the Annandale campus (CT building, 4th floor) that will provide a place for practice and competition as esports becomes the ninth competitive Nighthawk team.  The team will have custom Nighthawks esports merchandise and games will be live-streamed.  Team members will have the opportunity to be scouted and picked up by other colleges and potentially receive scholarships for their skills.  Games currently offered include “Overwatch” (PC) and “League of Legends” (PC). Other games may be offered in the future.

It is anticipated that nearly 80 students will be competing for approximately 15 roster spots. Students will also have opportunities for behind the scenes production support including analysis and game commentary.

Nighthawk esports tryouts are Friday!   

Team tryouts are scheduled for 10:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 6:00 pm on Friday, September 21 inside the new facility.  Students who want to participate in the esports program must meet eligibility requirements that include full-time enrollment, a minimum GPA, and also meet certain progress benchmarks toward degree requirements.  Athletes will be able to use their own mouse, keyboard, and mouse pad.  

Potential team members can sign up by clicking below:

http://www.novaathletics.com/sports/esports/2018-19/releases/2018_Esports_Tryouts 

For more information contact: Chris Gaul at cgaul@nvcc.edu

Media Contact: Lara Wade | 703.764.5035 or 813.833.1498 | lwade@nvcc.edu

 

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

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