SCRANTON, Pa. – Lackawanna College announced today that Edward Delaney will serve as the College's first-ever eSports Administrator and Head Coach. Also joining the coaching staff will be Robert Eskra, Lackawanna College Criminal Justice Instructor, as eSports Assistant Coach.
Last month, Lackawanna College announced the launch of a Collegiate eSports program. ESports— also known as electronic gaming— has boomed over the last few years and is now one of the fastest growing collegiate sports programs in the country.
Lackawanna College, known for pioneering cutting-edge programs, has joined the ranks of over 60 progressive institutions across the United States and Canada to offer eSports by initiating the first known program of its type in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Delaney and Eskra are building Lackawanna's eSports program in preparation for competition in the 2018-2019 academic year and are actively recruiting athletes for Lackawanna's inaugural team.
"Taking on the role as eSports Administrator and Head Coach at Lackawanna College is a dream come true," said Delaney. "Words cannot describe how elated and excited I am to continue to grow and develop this program and carry it to success over the coming years with the help of the College's amazing faculty and staff, including Robert Eskra who has been an invaluable partner already."
Eskra, a Scranton resident, has been involved in the competitive world of eSports since before its foundation as a professional league and has competed in multiple amateur tournaments.
Collegiate eSports has seen a rapid increase of investments from celebrities, professional teams, and major sports brands. According to Newzoo, a market research firm specializing in digital gaming, last year, the industry produced an estimated $493 million in revenue—a growth of 51.7% from 2015.
That number is projected to surpass $1 billion by 2019. Newzoo estimates that 22% of American male millennials watch eSports, putting it on equal par with baseball and hockey in terms of viewership among that demographic.
"I could not be more thrilled to have Teddy and Robert leading our eSports program. Their passion for coaching student athletes and eSports is off the charts. I am excited to build and grow this program with them," said Joya Whittington, Lackawanna College Director of Athletics and Head Women's Basketball Coach.
Lackawanna will initially compete in three eSports games: Overwatch, League of Legends, and Rocket League. Athletic scholarships will be available for new students who meet the eligibility standards.
For more information, visit lackawanna.edu/esports.