Cikor added, “The esports studio has really acted as an anchor for the program, both in a technical sense and in solidifying our place within the college.”
Esports officially became a part of Kodiaks Athletics over the summer. Players are eligible for the same benefits student-athletes from all other teams enjoy, including scholarship opportunities, gym access, jerseys, equipment and academic supports.
READ MORE: Esports officially become part of Lethbridge College activities
READ MORE: Lethbridge College esports team getting set for first full season
Justin Garrick, a graduate of the Multimedia Production program in 2022, is the team’s dedicated esports coach. Second-year Multimedia Production student, Perry Le Bao, assists the team with social media and match broadcasting.
Todd Caughlin, manager of Kodiaks Athletics said, “The support and vision of the college’s leadership team is what made this all happen in such a short period of time.”
He stated, “The speed that esports is growing on a provincial, national, and international level is absolutely incredible, and we are just scratching the surface of what this program can mean to the college and community. It’s very exciting!”
This academic year, 15 student-athletes will compete for the Kodiaks esports program. Together, they make up three teams competing in the ECAC and other sanctioned events across Canada – Valorant, League of Legends, and Rocket League.
The Valorant team advanced to the ECAC Open playoff in the fall of 2022 under the leadership of captain Bradley Pike, a first-year Computer Information Technology student-athlete. He led Lethbridge Collegiate Institute to a national title in the Canadian True North Esports League during his senior year of high school, and was offered a scholarship to join the Kodiaks.
Allyson Cikor remarked, “Brad is a great example of how esports creates opportunities for students to not only improve themselves and their skills, but to become leaders and positive forces in the community while playing an active role in pushing the esports space forward.”
The Kodiaks begin the ECAC winter season on January 31, 2023. Each team will have one match per week, with playoffs held in April.
Players will also attend the Alberta Esports Expo in February, where League of Legends and Valorant teams will compete for fun and to further promote esports in the province.
Read more local sports at Lethbridge News Now.