The following is the full text of Harrisburg University Storm's 2018/01/03 press release.
Gramano brings three years of professional experience to collegiate esports team on the rise
Harrisburg, Pa., USA, (January 4, 2019) — Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) has made its mark on the esports landscape, and with the addition of a world-ranked Overwatch gamer to its coaching staff, is positioned to take on 2019 with even more vigor.
As many professional esports athletes make the transition to coaching, HU saw an opportunity to invest in its team yet again. The Storm has welcomed Giuseppe “Joemeister” Gramano, a former professional Overwatch player with the Philadelphia Fusion and competitor for Team Canada in the Overwatch World Championship in 2017.
“The esports program at Harrisburg University has truly put the university and the city of Harrisburg on the map, and Joemeister will be a real catalyst to our growing momentum,” said Dr. Eric Darr, Harrisburg University President. “Adding an accomplished professional athlete will not only serve the performance of the players, but will also help us continue to push our program to the next level.”
Gramano has chosen to make the transition from professional gaming to coaching as a way of giving back to a sport that has allowed him to pursue his own esports dreams. When looking at opportunities, Harrisburg University was a clear choice.
“Harrisburg University has been making waves in esports over the past year, and the opportunity to be part of their program is an honor,” explained Gramano. “I chose to retire from the professional Overwatch scene so I could help other young athletes reach their goals. This is an extremely talented team of students and I’m excited to have the chance to share my experience with them.”
Joe’s experience includes playing for teams like compLexity and FaZe Clan, and most recently the Philadelphia Fusion, one of 12 professional teams in the Overwatch League and official partner of the Harrisburg University Storm team.
“Partnering with the Storm could not have been a better decision for our team,” said Tucker Roberts, President of Philadelphia Fusion. “This partnership provides mentorship and experience that most collegiate players would not have access to. We’re excited for both Joe and the Storm players, and we can’t wait to see what they do together the coming seasons.”
The transition from professional player to collegiate coach is something that will continue to occur as more colleges and universities join the competitive gaming scene. Colleges across the country are building large arenas and awarding scholarships to top recruits, while planning tournaments and match schedules so teams can play top talent.
“Collegiate esports has grown in a big way over the past year,” said Michael Brooks, Executive Director for the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). “We encourage and support professional athletes wanting to coach at the collegiate level. Giving these students exposure to the world of professional gaming - whether it be as players, coaches or tournament production - is an important part of their college athlete experience.”
About HU Esports
Harrisburg University’s Esports Program is the University’s first and only varsity sport. The varsity team competes in some of the most popular esports games around the world, including “League of Legends,” “Overwatch” and “Hearthstone.” Team members compete on 40-inch screens in its state-of-the-art arena space and receive full scholarships as part of the varsity team.
For more information, visit http://harrisburgu.edu/esports/ or follow the team on Facebook and Twitter, as well as view tournaments on Twitch.
About the Philadelphia Fusion
Philadelphia Fusion, one of 12 inaugural teams to compete in the Overwatch League, is owned and operated by Comcast Spectacor. Comcast Spectacor is part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that operates Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Comcast Spectacor’s three primary businesses are the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center Complex, and Spectra, a leading hospitality firm that provides venue management, food services and hospitality, and partnerships to more than 300 client properties in the United States, Canada, and Singapore. Visit us at ComcastSpectacor.com for more information.
About NAC Esports
The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. is a nonprofit membership association organized by and on behalf of our member institutions and is the only governing body of college esports in North America. Since 2016 our members started developing the structure and tools needed to advance collegiate esports in the varsity space. NACE currently has over 80 varsity esports programs as members and is growing at a rapid rate. www.nacesports.org