April 19, 2022
The Cornell College Esports Program is welcoming a new head coach, Jack VonKampen, who will lead several teams as they compete throughout the year.
This Cedar Rapids native will be working with students playing League of Legends, Overwatch, Valorant, Hearthstone, Rocket League, Rainbow Six Siege, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Apex Legends.
The esports program started at Cornell in 2019 and has continued to grow each year. The program has already marked many successful wins.
“Two of our Rocket League players recently won a tournament at the University of Iowa, which was amazing,” VonKampen said. “Our League and Siege teams also had positive seasons, both finishing with solid records against tough competition.”
VonKampen says it’s a great time to get involved in esports because interest continues to grow across the nation and the world, especially because of the pandemic.
“The pandemic had a role in forcing people to stay inside and play games, and esports gave people something to do with their friends when they couldn’t leave the house,” VonKampen said. “Esports had been growing before the pandemic but this pushed it further forward.”
Let’s learn more about Coach VonKampen:
What are you most looking forward to as the new Cornell College esports coach?
I’m looking forward to becoming a part of this community and helping this program to reach new heights.
What are your goals for the program?
My goal is to fill out the rosters for as many titles as we can compete in, then get everyone competing in high profile leagues and tournaments. Many of our teams have very bright futures, we have plenty of talent, and we want to continue to expand the number of players we have. It is my goal for us to have a varsity and a junior varsity team for each of the titles we compete in.
How did you get into coaching esports?
I started as a player-coach on a semi-pro team, then worked my way up to coaching collegiately.
What skills do students learn as part of the esports program?
Communication is a huge skill people learn as being part of an esports team. Players go from mainly playing solo to playing with teammates and having to work together toward a common goal.
What’s your favorite thing about coaching esports and what’s your favorite game to play?
I love strategizing with the different teams and figuring out how we can get an edge on our opponents. It’s also great to see players learn how to work with each other and watching them work together to achieve success. I, personally, love League of Legends, I’ve been a high ranked player in that game for a few years and still enjoy it. I love strategizing and out-thinking my opponent.
What do you like to do for fun, outside of esports?
I am an avid tennis player, captain of a trivia team in Cedar Rapids, and a big sports fan.