NORTH MANCHESTER – The Manchester University varsity-level esports team has nearly doubled in size. This explosive growth means players have a brand-new arena this fall, a full-time director and full-time assistant coach.
“The Spartans were approved to start Overwatch and Valorant teams this fall. This brings our total number of teams to six,” said Garrett “toweroftoast” Schieferstein, director of esports at Manchester. MU also offers League of Legends, Rocket League, Super Smash Bro. Ultimate and Fortnite.
The team has 28 incoming first-year students signed up to play esports this fall, bringing the total to 58. Manchester University Esports outgrew its former space in a residence hall, and crews worked over the summer to transform an entire floor of Calvin Ulrey Hall into a state-of-the-art arena. The new 2,260-square-foot arena features 30 MSI PCs, 7 Nintendo Switches, casting booth and a built-in living room.
Schieferstein graduated from Manchester in 2019 with a degree in business management and entrepreneurship. As a student, Garrett participated in the Manchester Gaming Society League of Legends team, which took down opponents such as IU, Purdue, Ball State, Florida State and Clemson.
After graduating, he worked as an admissions counselor and as a volunteer coach for the varsity League of Legends and Super Smash Bros. teams. Late this summer he began transitioning to the role of full-time director of esports.
“I am beyond excited to dive even further into the world of collegiate esports. Getting to coach, recruit, and compete over the last year and a half has been a blessing and I’m looking forward to doing the things I love full time,” he said.
He is joined by full-time Assistant Coach Kaelan “Orion” Celentano. He graduated from Miami University in 2021 with a degree in games and simulation with a focus in esports, and East Asian languages and cultures with a focus on Chinese.
Celentano specializes in Rocket League. He founded and led the Miami University Varsity Rocket League program and competed in the top-level Collegiate Rocket League.
“After competing for the team, he took his passion more towards coaching and loved it just as much as playing,” Schieferstein said.
Jen Kuepper also serves esports as a volunteer assistant coach for the Fortnite and Valorant teams. She is a full-time student success advisor at MU. Kuepper graduated from Manchester in 2013 with a degree in social work and is excited to be back on campus to support our current students.
“I have played video games for as long as I can remember, but I really got more into playing during my time here at Manchester. I prefer to play FPS (first-person shooter) games, but I also enjoy playing a variety of different types of games as well. It has been great to get to know students outside of my role as a success advisor and to work with them in a different aspect.”
Manchester began intercollegiate esports competition for men and women in the spring of 2020. The University continues to offer the Manchester Gaming Society, which brings esports enthusiasts together for both casual and competitive play.
Follow Manchester Esports on Twitter at @MU_esport. To learn more about the program, contact [email protected].