Posted October 13, 2022
This summer, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls launched its varsity esports program, naming the former co-director of the Indiana Esports Network as head coach.
Dylan Gentilcore worked at Carmel High School in Indiana for four years as an English teacher while also starting an esports league for the state.
“Throughout those four years that I was running the program, we won like 32 state championships in the league that I helped start for the state of Indiana,” Gentilcore said.
According to Gentilcore, the state championships were all in different gaming titles.
“Our first semester, we won the high school esports league in Hearthstone (an online card game),” Gentilcore said. “The next fall, after getting second place back-to-back in CS:GO (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive), we finally won the national championship in CS:GO for high school esports.”
Gentilcore added that his players had gotten a lot of fulfillment out of competing, but felt like “they could do more.”
“After winning all these tournaments, we actually started running our own national tournament series called the Greyhound Battlegrounds, and we ran that, and got competition from coast to coast,” Gentilcore said.
During Gentilcore’s last semester at Carmel High School, he helped secure the esports team a two-year sponsorship with HyperX, a gaming company that specializes in making gaming equipment.
“Securing that sponsorship is one of the things I’m really proud of,” Gentilcore said.
Gentilcore said he decided to take his talents to UW-River Falls because of how passionate the UWRF athletic department was about adding the esports program to its list of varsity sports.
“I felt like there are a lot of people who genuinely want to help others succeed here, and that aligns with what my life’s mission is about,” Genticore said.
Although there will not be any official esports competitions until the 2023-2024 academic year, one of Gentilcore’s many goals is to make the esports team an inclusive community by recruiting interested students and “testing the waters” by having UWRF Student Involvement doing some esports tournaments later this school year.
If students are interested in participating in the UW-River Falls esports team, they can stop by the esports arena, located in the Chalmer Davee Library, or they can follow @uwrfesports on social media for more information.