The Boise State Esports club launched in 2017 and has since become one of the top teams in the nation during its short time as a program. Out of about 400 schools, Boise State ranks among the top 10. Currently, the team is ranked in the top five.
When head coach Dr. Chris Haskell took the helm when the program was established, he did not expect it to grow so quickly to where it is today.
With the Esports team being a giant in national competition, the recruiting is constant and ongoing because of the highly competitive nature of gaming.
“Students may not be aware of this program or simply not know how great this team is in terms of competition,” Haskell said. “We are one of the top schools in the nation. I feel like I don’t have to make a case for why we do what we do; people will either recognize it or not.”
Some games that the Broncos compete in are Valorant, Overwatch, Rocket League and most recently Madden NFL.
Haskell said he is always trying to improve and grow the program through constant recruiting, practicing, traveling and playing in tournaments all over the world.
Experience plays a vital role in this program. This has been built throughout the last four years with constant practicing and tournaments.
Sophomore economics major Brian Cron, who plays Overwatch for the Broncos, talked about his decision to join the eSports program.
“I was in high school, and there was an event here and I got involved. Doc [Haskell] actually came to my house and offered me a scholarship,” Cron said.
Cron says he is pleased with his experience so far after being a part of the program for two years.
“My experience here has been really nice. It’s definitely one of the best-organized Esports programs,” Cron said. “Even though there may be better schools than us, none of them have the funding or the system we do.”
Cron also mentioned that students can get way more involved than they think. There are opportunities for students to even play video games at their arena in downtown Boise for fun.
Former eSports assistant coach for the Boise State Rocket League, Daumantas “Ryuu” Krugliakovas, shared his thoughts regarding his four years at the program.
“Throughout the years we made a lot of progress in developing not just the players and the culture, but also our methods, how we approach people, what goals we set for ourselves,” Krugliakovas said.
Krugliakovas commended Dr. Haskell for having a clear direction for the team, short and long term. He said the people, staff and coaches were incredibly competent, and he never felt like he needed to pull the weight of multiple people.
The Esports program started from the ground up. It was a team effort between the staff and players who were committed to the process.
Haskell was recently awarded as the Esports Collegiate Ambassador of the Year.