AUTHOR: CHRIS "BEARLIGHT" LEE / @BEARLIGHTCASTS
Stay Plugged In's marquee online esports recruiting event, Carry 2 College, took over the Twitch airwaves this past weekend. With a total of 13 streams covering this season's three titles (Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, and League of Legends), every student who signed up to compete were able to fully show off their skills to esports scouts across the nation. Their mission? To find the school that is right for them in the collegiate esports space. 202 students, including 48 seniors took to their in-game lobbies in an effort to make a name for themselves, and compete for the $1,000 prize pool up for grabs for each title.
Twelve streams were dedicated to broadcasting the brackets. They captured the heated gameplay of some of the most talented student athletes in all of North America. Meanwhile, the Stay Plugged In main Twitch channel focused on engaging the community. Student commentators joined us on the desk for a few of the matches, looking to display their casting ability to our network. We also got the chance to interview a portion of our college directors and student recruits about their experience in the esports recruiting space, and how they utilize the Stay Plugged In platform to meet their needs. Each guest gave us unique and impactful insights on the recruiting process and shared the lessons they have learned along the way. A huge thank you to all of our guests, students, parents, and coaches who participated and supported to make this weekend's Carry 2 College a smashing success.
CARRY 2 COLLEGE INTERVIEWS & GUESTS
Josh Lanza - Director | St. Lawrence University
P.J. Ferrell - Director of Esports | Cleveland State University
Lucas Hayworth - Director of Esports | Oklahoma Christian University
Mark Link - Director of Esports | University of Mary Washington
Sure, as a director, being able to acquire highly skilled players is nice. However, after speaking to the incredible lineup of esports program directors above, you will see that a student's skill is more of a bonus, and less of a priority in the search to find players for their programs.
For Josh Lanza at St. Lawrence University, a 1-on-1 interview is required as part of the application process. "I try to get a feel for [each player] to see how they might gel with the team", Lanza told our students. "We're concerned with your academic needs and what you need to be a successful individual as you go out in the world past graduation".
Lucas Hayworth had pretty similar things to say, encouraging esports students to focus on their own future and personal path. "Think about what you want to do when you're 30, 35, 40, when you start having kids, what's important to your values?" Hayworth stated. "How are you going to succeed in life in general and not just in the game, and in the short term". Hayworth mentioned that the number one thing Oklahoma Christian University is looking for in a student is for them to be actively engaged in their community. "I want people who want to grow. I want people who want to earn their victories."
P.J. Ferrell of Cleveland State has been heavily involved in the building process of their esports program. I asked P.J. what qualities he was looking for in players of which he plans to build around. "We look for some really great communication and leadership", Ferrell said. He did mention that not everyone necessarily needs to be a leader to contribute to his teams. "Being able to listen and following directions...go hand-in-hand [with leadership]".
Communication was also mentioned first by Mark Link, director of the University of Mary Washington. In addition to communication, Mark also hit on a big player quality that college representatives tell us at Stay Plugged In is a true deal breaker. "Reliability...there are some [schools] that will have a great team, but then one player is unreliable to practice, to start time, and the whole team suffers because of it." Mark encourages players to always be on time, prepared and ready to go.
All four guests also had great things to say about the Stay Plugged In website and how it helps in their search to find the players with the qualities listed above. Check out what they had to say during their interviews in the quotes below:
"That's why I was ... first to come here to be part of this forum today was how much Stay Plugged In has helped me as a recruiter, as a director, do my job effectively. I frankly couldn't have done it without them that first year. ... Stay Plugged In has been a life savor when it comes to figuring out where to find recruits, and bringing the recruits to the right colleges" -Josh Lanza
"One of the coaches here in Ohio said, 'Hey, you should check out this Stay Plugged In website. It's very cool, it's very interactive, there's a lot of people on it. ... It has been a phenomenal tool for me to meet other students everywhere across the country. ... I use Stay Plugged In almost daily searching for new players." -P.J. Ferrell
"I've recruited a lot of students through Stay Plugged In this year in particular as we're looking to provide the same opportunity for more students in the future. ... Stay Plugged In looks for more than [player rank] ... you all (Stay Plugged In) care more about students as students and not just players. ... I really appreciate what Stay Plugged In has done in terms of culture and to elevate the scene in terms of recruiting." - Lucas Hayworth
"Stay Plugged In has been an extremely valuable asset in terms of our program being an upcoming [entity]. I think the ability of players to not only build their profiles in regards to their academics but what their other hobbies and passions are really allows us to find those people that we think would be a good fit at the University of Mary Washington." - Mark Link
To watch the full interviews with all four of our college directors, you can find them in the Day 1 stream VOD, and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for when they are released later this week.
BROADCOMA | League of Legends
FLIXZZER | Rainbow Six: Siege
NATGAV | Rainbow Six: Siege
DEZ! | Rocket League
RIKU | League of Legends
SCYTOS | Rocket League
Day 2 of the Stay Plugged In Summer Carry 2 College event included interviews from some of the seniors on our platform. When asked about the website, they also had some pretty awesome things to say.
"I will be constantly paying attention to my profile and my dashboard specifically looking to see if any colleges have viewed my profile or if I've gotten any messages", Flixzzer said. "It allows you to get in contact really quickly [with recruiters] which you don't see very often".
Flixzzer's teammate, NatGav has also names the platform as a key tool in his search as well. "[Stay Plugged In] is how I've found every single college I've talked to. Being able to see [recruiters] viewing my profile, they follow me, they start messaging me".
For League of Legends recruit broadcoma, the Stay Plugged In community really stands out. "The event is a lot of fun. I really enjoy the aspect of getting to socialize with a lot of kids that are around my age. I get a lot of perspective on how they're feeling about situations that I'm going through and vice versa".
SUMMER 2022 CARRY 2 COLLEGE CHAMPIONS
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
CODY, DIGGIE, N' FRIENDS
RAINBOW SIX: SIEGE
ROCKET LEAGUE - DIVISION I
ROCKET LEAGUE - DIVISION II
ROCKET LEAGUE - DIVISION III
ROCKET LEAGUE - DIVISION IV
Congratulations and GG's to all of our winners in earning their piece of the $3000 total prize pool! Keep a close eye on the News page this week, as we release a more competition-focused piece for each title, and cover the many connections we expect students have made over the course of the weekend. You can also keep up-to-date with any future events for the Fall season by visiting out Events page of the site.