SAU Buzz

Ambrose’s Newest Varsity Team: Esports

by Moira Stephens
Posted on Sep 20, 2018

Long over is the argument that playing video games on a school night is not productive.


Competitive video gaming, also known as Esports, is predicted to have a revenue $905 million in 2018, according to Forbes.  Schools across the nation are adding it to their list of varsity athletics, and St. Ambrose is no different.


"We are always looking at adding new programs on the cutting edge, and Esports is another example of that," Coach Ray Shovlain said in a previous interview. "There is tremendous interest in Esports, and we want to provide opportunities for students to continue their competitive careers at a high level."  


The Esports program at SAU has a roster of 15 bees and is led by Joshua Sides.  Sides earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration at University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2013.


Coach Sides’ expertise in Overwatch and League of Legends will aid Ambrose’s Esports team greatly, as those will be their focus this tournament season.  


“League of Legends is definitely my strength, but I love both my teams equally,” Sides said.


On Thursday September 13, the Fighting Bees had a friendly Overwatch exhibition with Augustana at Paradigm in Downtown Davenport.  Overwatch calls for six competitors on each team, and each player has a set role.


“It’s similar to track.  You have a distance runner or a sprinter, and that’s their specialty,” Coach Sides said.  “Even in their game they have specific roles.”


“Esports can be very physically demanding to play as long as these guys play,” Sides said. The team practices six days a week for three hours and is preparing for a tournament in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on September 21 and 22.


The team’s quarters can be found in the lower level of Cosgrove Hall.