Hastings College esports experiencing expansion

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – Hastings College esports is leveling up — in more ways than one.

“We knew going into last year, even, that one room wasn’t going to be the long haul,” Hastings College Esports coach Andy Chase said. “There was that idea of, ‘OK, we need to move into a bigger room.’”

And with esports’ national rise in popularity, that growth is having tangible results in Hastings.

“It’s been awesome seeing the growth not only here, but just city-wide,” Chase said. “To have that support here on campus has been absolutely mind-boggling.”

Hastings College officially added esports as its 24th varsity sport and the Broncos’ roster nearly doubled from 21 to 40 players. Eight of them are on scholarship.

“I think esports is a great thing for people,” Hastings College Valorant team captain Maximilian Crosbie said. “It’s a way to get out. It’s a way to meet new people.”

With that growth has come changes. The Broncos are offering League of Legends as an addition to its five-game lineup, added 12 new Lenovo Legion PC setups and moved to an expanded arena.

“It’s game-changing when you have nice computers, good facility,” Hastings College Rocket League team captain Zach Sodorff said. “It’s so fun just not having to worry about all those other problems.”

“Having the 22 available now has made it so much easier for us to be able to have multiple teams practicing at the same time,” Chase added.

“Everyone is very excited and enjoys the time that they get to spend here,” Crosbie said.

The Broncos compete in the national esports collegiate conference, which has doubled its member institutions, and Hastings College Valorant team is undefeated.

“You have to focus,” Crosbie said. “It’s like a normal sport, you’ve got to do this and we want to win.”

“Being able to see that growth and seeing us grow alongside the NECC, just esports in general, has been awesome,” Chase added.

And they’re not expecting to slow down anytime soon.

“Hastings has made a name for itself and we want to keep it that way,” Crosbie said.

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