Lackawanna College is a private four-year college located in the heart of Scranton, Pennsylvania, a city long-known for its working-class roots. One of its more famous sons is former vice-president and current Democratic candidate, Joe Biden.
The college has an open admissions policy, enrolls approximately 1,770 students, and has a history of education focused on vocations. These include fields such as childhood education, law enforcement, culinary arts, and a wide variety of health programs.
The primary motivation for getting into esports is stated forthrightly by Teddy Delaney, Esports Program Administrator & Head Coach: “When we started researching the collegiate esports scene, we knew that this was a road we wanted to take. By creating this new esports program, we have created an avenue for a new genre of students that has not really been tapped into yet in our area. We are providing new and exciting opportunities for these new student-athletes in competitive video gaming all while providing them a quality education and setting them up for a successful future.”
Getting into esports was clearly the right move. In year one of establishing its esports program, Lackawanna College was able to recruit over 30 new students. One year later that has grown to nearly 40 esports student-athletes. Emphasizing the collegial nature of esports, Delaney points out that every esport athlete student now calls the esports facility home base. This is where they study, game, and hang out with each other. This has resulted in a new culture and community on our campus with esports.
Delaney was helped greatly by having the full support of college VP Dr. Jill Murray. The esports initiative was featured in several different newspaper ads, and even had primetime slots on local news stations. As interest snowballed, Delaney and his team started pushing out content on YouTube and other social media outlets. As of today, every college department has shown interest in making sure esports gets everything it needs to succeed.
Lackawanna’s esports facility is housed in the back of its main building, Angeli Hall. Equipped with VIP ID badge access to only esports student-athletes and coaches. The facility is equipped with (30) high-end Alienware Aurora gaming desktops with the Alienware Pro Gaming AW768 mechanical keyboards, Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum gaming mice, and HyperX Cloud Alpha headsets. The facility is also equipped with some streaming capabilities via its (8) channel Panasonic switcher. This allows them to stream from (8) different points of view thus capturing all in-game action. In addition, all gameplay is recorded and played back on two 80" LEDs.
Feeling secure in its esports initiative, Delaney promotes the Lackawanna program as furthering the college's mission to “mold these student-athletes into major contributing members of society and to give them a chance to do something they love along the way. School comes first, then gaming - and we take pride in that. The first and most important part about being a good student-athlete is being a good student and that is our first priority. We have great coaches and mentors that will push each student to the next level and guide them in whatever direction is necessary for their success.”
Everything points to Lackawanna College succeeding in every respect.