Eric Medeiros, a graduate of New England Institute of Technology (NEIT), is the Head Esports Coach at his alma mater. NEIT’s Esports programs offer educational opportunities to develop leadership skills, critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork. Not only does NEIT Esports provide an entry point to an in-demand field, but it also gives every student the chance to play and learn.
Eric Medeiros: NEIT is a brand new program. We just started with this recent fall season. We did not have any teams enter in the fall leagues—we were just slowly building the program up.
NEIT had built a facility which is a facility built of 15 computers, very state of the art machines. So I was brought in to build the teams, shift the model of how esports will work on campus, intertwine with academics, and all the other aspects that go along with collegiate.
Right now, as I said, we are very new, just slowly starting to build up the model, looking from one year, two years, and five years and so on. So I am very excited about the spring season. We have three teams right now, Rocket League, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. So I am very excited to see how they perform for the next season.
Medeiros: So, the big initiative is getting us into the spring season and starting to see how we perform as a brand new team. These guys have not played together besides the practices and scrimmages that we have put together. It is now about getting them in to see how they do and their mentality in a tournament.
Then on top of that, hopefully starting the recruitment process, creating that high school pipeline into college. We’re not seeing too many local high school leagues start and hopefully help start that pipeline in the future. Down the line, maybe in the next year, we’d love to see more high school talent rise.
A lot of community events are going to be run, hopefully. We hope to see a lot more of the community stuff and content creation. We’re not just focused on the competitive side of things but on seeing all aspects of esports brought to the program.
Medeiros: Right now, many of the academic sides of things and the educational programs we’re doing are based on the majors we offer. We offer a lot of STEM-related majors. The big ones we offer are IT, Cyber Security, Game Simulation Program, and Game Design.
We are introducing the first-ever elective course of esports that is starting this upcoming term. We’re very excited to teach that, and the sky's the limit. We’re hoping it will be successful, and we can do more of that down the line.
Medeiros: This is something new to us at NEIT. We're trying to involve the students in something completely different from what they already offer with the clubs and the student activities.
Me, in coordination with student life and student activities, we've been trying to promote a lot of on-campus and community-related events to bring people together who are not only interested in esports but in video games in general and get them involved.
Right now, our facility is open 12 hours a day for the whole campus and not just for those on the competitive varsity teams. So hopefully, it can tie in with bringing more and more people into the esports program.
Right now, it's more word of mouth. We're trying to figure out what sticks well with the students. Social media is not used as much on the school campus as most typical universities use it. We're starting to bring that in and slowly bring social media into it slowly. We hope students come in, have a good time, and tell their friends to attend the next event. As time goes on, we're starting to learn what works well and what sticks well.