Hannah Smith | Technology Editor
Esports is something that is relatively new to the ODU campus, having had their grand opening in the fall of 2020. It didn’t take long for the calendars of Grant Deppen, Assistant Director of Intramural Sports and eSports, to fill. The Monarchs are a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). This gives opportunities for official varsity competition and informal teams to play in the new Monarch Esports Arena (MEA).
Deppen explains how eager and involved the campus community is, stating examples of the broadcasting staff set in place by the number of students attending during drop-in hours. This also is evident by the high number of games occurring every week. A team, for instance, can play one to two nights a week.
The Esports program is committed to the safety of themselves and those around them. Deepen said, “Because we do have people sitting in relatively close proximity to one another, masking is very important.”
Within the next couple of years, Deppen will be dedicated to the growth of the program. This will stem from the professionalism of the program, while being diligent about the streaming side of the program as well.
“A huge component of what we do is pushing this program out there as a high quality program,” answered Deppen when asked about the future seasons of the program.
In addition to putting Old Dominion on the map in the Esports world, this adds to Old Dominion’s signature value as a university: diversity. This gives the university another opportunity to meet current and future students in their passions, no matter what they are.