Harrisburg University Hosts In-Person Tryouts for Final Round of Esports Tryouts


The world’s best players flew in from around the globe to compete for a spot on the HU team

Harrisburg, Pa., USA,
April 30, 2018 After months conducting tryouts for players from all parts of the world, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) has completed its final round of tryouts for players vying for a coveted spot on HU’s esports varsity team. HU hosted the final round of in-person tryouts on its campus, flying in the top 1% of players from countries including Poland, Turkey, Canada, and Germany to fill its team roster.

“Harrisburg University has continued to make bold actions in the esports community to show others that we’re not messing around when it comes to finding the best talent,” said Chad Smeltz, HU’s esports program director. “We’ve spent these past weeks interviewing and recruiting, and the line-up we’ll have after these final tryouts will be something to remember.”

Prospective players have spent weeks practicing and participating in tryouts. The players selected for HU’s varsity teams in League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone will receive full-ride scholarships to the University. HBO’s VICE spent the weekend recording the tryout experience for a documentary exploring the inner workings of HU’s esports program and the players who traveled to Harrisburg to compete for their spot on the team.

“I never expected that I’d get the chance to have a full scholarship to compete in esports,” said Grayson O’Connell, current HU student and recruit for HU’s Hearthstone team. “I’m very thankful that the college I attend for my computer science program is also putting together an amazing esports program.”

The tryouts also included social opportunities for the players to connect in-person, although many of them have established virtual friendships prior to their visit to HU. Prospective students were also shown the campus, downtown Harrisburg area and a sneak peek at the state-of-the-art arena at the Whitaker Center, where players will have the opportunity to compete on a 40’ screen.

“We’re transforming the capabilities of our Select Medical Digital Cinema inside Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts to become the premier live viewing experience for esports fans,” explained Ted Black, CEO of Whitaker Center. “On the east coast especially, nothing exists right now in the form of a complete esports arena space, but we’re going to change that.”

Harrisburg University continues to build momentum for its esports program by adding notable sponsors and partners to its program. The University plans to reveal the team lineup, team name and team logo this summer.

Follow the university on
Facebook and Twitter for updates and on Twitch to watch future matches and tournaments and for updates around the esports program.


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