Jacob Chesney believes that the Texas Wesleyan eSports program has allowed nonsocial students to engage in something bigger than themselves, something they normally wouldn’t engage in.
Having been playing video games since he was six, the captain of the Hearthstone team and the program’s coordinator thinks that the Wesleyan program is good for the “geeks” and “nerds” on campus.
“In the history of higher education, there have always been ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds,’” said Chesney, a 22-year-old business major. “Our program brings them legitimacy. I think that this is the first time where we truly have a reason and means to bring people together within that set of culture.”
Chesney’s first experience with eSports was when he was a freshman at Wesleyan in 2015.
“I was very naïve at the time,” Chesney said. “I was trying to set up a League of Legends tournament, but at the time I didn’t realize how much work went into this kind of program.”
In 2016, during his sophomore year, Chesney began realizing what eSports really was.
“2016 was the first time I got to really participate in eSports,” Chesney said. “Much like competing in a sport, it’s much more involved than just playing a game.”
Eugene Frier, executive director of eSports and recreation, believes that the eSports program would not be where it is now without Chesney.
“There is a lot that goes into this program, more than people who are outside of eSports realize,” Frier said. “There is a lot of things with this program that I couldn’t do by myself that Jacob helped me with, like helping connect with recruits, setting the structure for tryouts and practices for our teams and helping with our contract talks with Twitch.”
In addition to making eSports run smoothly, he has also made it a nice community to be in and work for, according to Randy Turner, a senior liberal studies major and an eSports community manager.
“He is very helpful and humble to all of the players and people that are involved in eSports,” Turner said. “Compared to other people that I’ve worked with at my past jobs, he makes my work environment more relaxed.”
Kyle Raines, a sophomore undecided major who is on both the Overwatch and League of Legends teams, said Chesney is not bad at the games he plays, either.
“He is great at what he does with the program,” Raines said.
But Chesney is modest about his video game skills.
“I’m pretty good at games, but I’m also good enough to know that I’m not a professional at games,” he said.