JOHNSON CITY — Two years in the past, Spencer Jedrzejek was an engineering pupil with an curiosity in esports.
And so when East Tennessee State College introduced the creation of an esports, or aggressive video gaming, group in late 2019, Jedrzejek needed to be concerned, and tried out for the “Overwatch” group. Sadly, Jedrzejek didn’t have the gaming abilities to make the group — however that didn’t cease him from desirous to be concerned with this system.
“I needed to do something with this group in any means,” Jedrzejek mentioned. “I needed to be a participant first (however) after the primary tryout I spotted like, oh, I suck in comparison with all these gamers — compared to a number of the individuals I now name my buddies.”
Whereas his gaming talents didn’t land him a job as a participant on the group, he did discover a function with them — one that permits him to nonetheless use his experience and data of the sport as a commentator for the group’s matches. It’s a job that’s additionally confirmed him a profession in esports isn’t only a faraway dream, however a sensible choice he plans to pursue by returning to high school after he graduates to get a graduate certificates in esports administration from ETSU.
“I’ve turned one thing that 2 1/2 years in the past I didn’t even think about might be a potential profession for me into one thing that might be a profession for me,” Jedrzejek mentioned, “and I’m grateful day by day that (esports) coach Jeff (Shell) and Leigh Nutter, the manufacturing supervisor for ETSU Esports, has allowed me to proceed doing this.”
Becoming a member of Jedrzejek as broadcasters for this season are Levi Everroad, Chris Moser and Colleen Sharkey. It’s their job to convey power to the matches, name the sport, clarify what’s happening in-game and break down numerous matchups, all whereas doing all the pieces they’ll to maintain viewers engaged.
“I all the time say the function of a broadcaster is simply to type of talk what’s happening, however as the one individuals who actually get to speak when a sport is happening, we’d like to take action a lot to, one, get individuals , and two, get individuals to remain there and watch the sport extra than simply ‘Oh, my son is taking part in’ or ‘Oh, my finest buddy is on the group,’ ” Jedrzejek mentioned.
Like Jedrzejek, Sharkey mentioned having a educated and expert broadcaster is “key for fan engagement.”
“The groups is perhaps actually good and the video games that we play is perhaps extremely spectated, however we’re the hole that bridges that between them taking part in within the area and folks which can be inquisitive about viewing them,” mentioned Sharkey.
Sharkey, a graduate pupil in ETSU’s Model and Media Technique program, mentioned she has all the time been inquisitive about gaming since her dad and mom gifted her an unique PlayStation twenty years in the past, however she by no means anticipated it could lead her to commentating the video games — one thing Sharkey additionally hopes to make a profession out of.
“There are such a lot of totally different avenues in esports moreover taking part in that basically encourage me to make it a career,” mentioned Sharkey, who additionally urged individuals to present esports an opportunity.
“I do know it appears odd, it looks as if a good area of interest, however there’s a sport for everybody in esports, and it’s one thing you will get concerned in,” Sharkey mentioned. “It’s massive, it’s rising and it’s not going wherever.”