Layne Shirley

Esports Coordinator

“I was a computer science major, and my position actually has nothing to do with my career. I obtained the experience by being a self-starter, believing in myself, and also working very hard.”

Location

Council Grove, KS

Nationality

American

Average Work Week

40 - 60 hours

I am from Council Grove, Kansas — population 2,800. This is one of those towns where you played all the sports all year round. I guess the way I got into esports is just having a love for competition playing traditional sports and having a love for gaming. The two go hand and hand.

I started really getting involved with esports in college. I played two years of college basketball at Kansas Wesleyan University. I took an early retirement and still had that competitive drive. At the time, I was the president of the Coyote Gaming Club, which started my spark of esports management. We had a bunch of students who wanted to compete, had the hardware to do so, and saw the few schools already getting involved at the varsity level. I took it upon myself to meet with the university president and athletics director to discuss what varsity esports is and how it would fit into our campus. After many meetings, we finally came to the conclusion that KWU Esports would happen and that we would start the scholarship and recruiting process immediately. We then became the sixth school in history to have varsity esports.

My Advice

I would say just find a way to get involved. Online tournaments, travel to local schools/universities to compete and ask if you can help set up. Anything you can do to get some experience will help you so, so much. Once you gain that knowledge, you can then set up your own LANs or events! In high school, I would get involved with the High School Esports League. Start a club in school and get people to be on your team’s roster and compete! Be the team captain/manager. Don’t stop doing what you love even if there are some roadblocks. Keep pursuing it and I promise you will make it to the other side. 

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