WATERVILLE – The team competes in the East Coast Athletic Conference, which fields multiple sports in addition to esports.
“You look at it in the same format you look at any traditional athletic team, the idea is to give students an outlet to pursue their passion, that gives them a reason to stay at the school, a reason to stay motivated in their academics…” said coach Martin Schelasin.
Thomas had previously had an esports club on campus, but former pro gamer Scelasin was brought in to head an official team in January.
The team has has ten different gaming computers that were brought in for them, and they compete with people all across the country before they make it to the playoffs at major gaming conventions across New England.
The team competes in games like League of Legends, CS:GO, Super Smash Bros., and Fortnite
Luckily for Schelasin, the top ranked Fortnite player in New England, Ryan Hemenway, was already enrolled at Thomas as an MBA student.
“More and more people started getting on the hype train for it, so I was like ‘alright I’ll stick around for it a little longer and I’ll try to get better at it’ and eventually I got to where I am today…” said Hemenway.
According to the Tracker Network, Hemenway ranks first in wins in New England and ranked in the top 100 nationwide.
“It feels good to know that one of the best players in Fornite is around this area, a lot of the people on campus are super hyped about it…” said teammate Davin Egan.
Unfortunately for Hemenway, his time on campus is coming to close soon. He’s graduating with his MBA in less than a month, and the real world might cut into the 4-6 hours a day he spends on the game.
“I definitely might take a couple hours off of it but I definitely don’t think it’s something I’ll ever truly stop doing. As long as I’m having fun doing it, I’m going to keep doing it…” said Hemenway.