Meet the New Bay State College Esports Coach
Bay State College: You were a graphic design major. How did you get interested in competitive video gaming?
Matthew King: I began my esports journey through the popular game League of Legends when I was an undergraduate. By helping create new organizations or working on graphics for small teams looking to join the semi-pro scene, I started to learn the ins and outs of the newly developing e-sports industry. I gained experience in many aspects of esports while the industry was in its infancy. From creating and running a competitive team to running my own growing Twitch.tv channel, I was doing it all.
BSC: You started out as a designer for a League of Legends team. How did you make the jump into coaching and team management?
MK: Initially, I was charged with creating all graphics, logos, and social media assets for Octagon 7, a semi-pro League of Legends team. Soon after, my responsibilities expanded to coaching and management over team activities, including recruiting new players, scheduling scrims, running practice sessions, and handling business relations.
BSC: How did your team do?
MK: Octagon 7 entered a 2015 semi-pro Christmas tournament and made a successful push to the end. The finals saw Octagon 7 versus Team Domination White, a well-known known League of Legends Challenger Series contender. Due to all the hard work put in by the players and staff, Octagon 7 swept Team Domination White 2 to 0 in a best-of-three finals matchup. It was a great victory for everyone involved.
BSC: You’ve already served as Esports Coach at the University of Pikeville in Kentucky. What was that like?
MK: In 2018 I was hired as the Head Esports Coach at University of Pikeville, which was the second University to make esports part of their varsity athletics program. I focused on organizing and restructuring the varsity team, and looked to create ways to spread the knowledge of esports around the local community. I pushed to start a campus esports club, separate from the varsity team, to create a friendly environment for gamers of all levels and to help push the knowledge of esports to everyone in the area.
BSC: You were also as a panelist at last year’s National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) conference. Tell us about it.
MK: I was invited as a panelist for the first annual NACE conference in 2018 for discussions on health and wellness within collegiate esport programs. While attending the conference, I made so many connections and ended up in conversations not only with representatives from colleges already in the esports space, but with many whose colleges and businesses were looking to take a step into esports. I was extremely pleased to be able to help administrators and CEOs alike understand the space better.
BSC: As head coach, what are your goals for Bay State College’s esports program?
MK: Now that I am at Bay State College, I plan to use all of my experiences to make the esports program a successful model for other colleges to follow, and a collaborative environment for students to expand. I’m looking forward to leading the new program and the students at Bay State College to a successful future.
Interested in Bay State College’s esports team? Find out more here.