If you have a passion for esports, but aren’t sure where you can learn the nuances and techniques that make it so special look no further than Harrisburg University (HU). When considering esports, it’s important to understand that not everything revolves around being a professional player. Just as with regular sports, a multitude of careers touch the esports industry, making it laden with opportunities for students and graduates alike. HU is at the forefront of helping students achieve the professional knowledge needed to succeed in the esports industry.
As a trailblazer in a rising industry, Harrisburg University’s Esports varsity team—the HU Storm–sets the standard in collegiate esports. Offered as our one-and-only varsity sport, we host one-of-a-kind spectator events, including the Harrisburg Esports Tournament, an official National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) event. Thirty-two world-class varsity esports teams compete in this tournament for a grand prize pool of $50,000. Events such as this have helped establish HU and Harrisburg as the hub of east-coast esports.
HU’s Esports team has been christened the Harrisburg University Storm, a name that captures the intensity, ferocity, and power our Esports athletes bring to each and every athletic engagement. Sixteen varsity Esports players each year receive full tuition scholarships along with a housing stipend.
We see collegiate esports as an all-around great opportunity: Our student players have the opportunity to pursue degrees in today’s hot fields, compete under a world-class coaching staff, and learn in our state-of the-art practice space. Working alongside HU’s student support staff, our coaches teach our varsity players team-building fundamentals, emphasize time management, and connect them with counselors/emotional support.
Students must complete an admissions application and complete an Esports application. While all students who apply to HU are automatically considered for an academic scholarship, students who make the team will have their scholarships updated to reflect the varsity scholarships.
Introducing the Top-Esports Pros Leading the HU Team
Chad Smeltz – Esports Program Director
Coach Smeltz has served as a pro League of Legends coach for Team 8, and worked his way up to General Manager for established esports organizations such as NRG and Phoenix1. Smeltz spearheaded player acquisition, negotiated team sponsorships, directed content, and much more during his time with professional teams. With a background in education, he seeks to create opportunities for the next generation of aspiring esports professionals.
Geoff Wang – Head Coach
Geoff has spent the last five years in esports as a private coach for individuals and pro-amateur teams. Recently he worked as an analytical and business consultant for several esports organizations and led the Varsity Big-Ten League of Legends program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. A talented player himself, Geoff has competed as a world-ranked gamer in League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and more.
Harrisburg University and Whitaker Center Partnership
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) and the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts (Whitaker) are partners with HU’s varsity Esports team. Officially serving as the home stadium for HU’s esports arena, practice space, digital locker room, hub for scrimmages, competitions, tournaments, meet-and-greets, and conferences. Whitaker hosts live in large-screen format, 38 feet high and 70 feet wide, with a 3,000 watt 5 channel digital surround sound system, providing seating for 200 people, with room for 700, and space for fans and spectators to attend live matches.
Questions? Email Connect@HarrisburgU.edu