Esports program uses recruitment tactics to recover from losing a large graduating class

We’re not here to be ordinary, we’re here to be extraordinary,” said Jake Grasso, the director of the esports program.

The BW esports program’s spring 2023 season is coming to a close; as the outgoing seniors graduate to pursue greater things, the team prepares to replace them.   

Esports has been on the rise recently and is taking the BW campus by storm. The program has gained at least 35 active players in video games such as Valorant, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros., Overwatch and Call of Duty.  

Connor Griffiths, a senior business administration major, is a Call of Duty player for the BW esports program. Griffiths started playing Call of Duty when he was 13 years old.  

“I have gotten so many awesome opportunities and grown so much as a person from it,” Griffiths said refering to his time on the BW esports team. “One of the main things is that I’ve really grown into myself in a place where I felt accepted.”  

Griffiths has gained lots of experience from being involved in esports and even professional opportunities. Over 20 different schools have offered him scholarship opportunities for esports, some of which are full-rides. Griffiths hopes to continue playing on an esports team as he pursues his master’s degree.  

Oliver Savel, a senior graphic design major, is the team captain of the Overwatch team. Savel said that he has gained leadership experience from participating in the program. He also said he was glad to play an important role in the program’s upbringing.   

“I feel like it’s a lot more put together now,” Savel said. “We definitely have a better sense of direction of where we’re going and what we want to be.”  

Both Griffiths and Savel expressed gratitude for the time that they have spent building up the BW esports program and for the skills that they have developed. They said that they gained collaborative, problem-solving and leadership skills throughout their time being a part of this organization.  

Jake Grasso, the director of esports at BW, is looking to recruit new players to replace the graduating seniors. Grasso utilizes BW’s summer orientation, Twitter and Stay Plugged In. SPIN is a website where high school students can upload their GPAs, highlight tapes, and interests to get connected with Universities looking to recurit students for esports. 

Grasso uses SPIN to seek out possible recruits for Baldwin Wallace’s esports team. Using this platform, he can connect with prospective students and eventually meet up with them and their families to talk about the esports program and if they would be interested in continuing their education at BW.  

Once Grasso meets with the potential addition to the team, he gives them a pitch about the BW esports program and how it can help them in the future.   

“I let them know that this is a family program, and that’s the type of environment that I want to have,” Grasso said, “If they want to be a part of building that greatness up, then they can come and join us.”