November 8, 2023
On Campus

Changing the Game

New esports program for competitive gaming coming Fall 2024

Building upon Wittenberg’s longstanding tradition of excellence in athletics and Tiger Up® rallying cry, the University will now enter a new era of competition with the launch of an esports program beginning Fall 2024.

Heading the exciting new program will be Ryan Brown, who found a passion for esports at Central Michigan University (CMU) as a competitive Rainbow 6: Siege player for three years. Brown went on to serve as program coordinator, directing CMU’s esports operations, which included eight varsity teams. He looks forward to bringing his skills and expertise to Wittenberg.

“I'm thrilled to be at Wittenberg at this time and place as the University is perfectly positioned to launch an esports program that makes its own mark in this competitive field of play. Wittenberg's impressive athletics tradition, contagious Tiger Up® spirit, and strong commitment to student success will allow for a program that competes at the highest level while also caring deeply for each player both personally and professionally,” Brown said.

In addition to his work at CMU, Brown served as an administrator for the Collegiate Esports Association (CEA,) helping to facilitate competitions for Rainbow 6 and Valorant. He also served as a shoutcaster, or color commentator in the gaming world, for several Rainbow 6 leagues and volunteered as a charity streamer for the Gamers Outreach Foundation.

“We are fortunate to have hired a director with the experience, passion for gaming, and commitment to a holistic student experience that Ryan brings,” said Jon Duraj, assistant vice president for student development and senior associate dean of students. “His approach to coaching and to building a competitive program that centers around a student’s educational goals will allow Wittenberg esports to create a well-rounded community of gamers and Tigers.”

“Esports presents a whole new way to add to Wittenberg’s competitive spirit and athletic tradition, while offering a robust student engagement experience,” Duraj added.

Wittenberg is currently recruiting students to compete at the varsity level while building a state-of-the-art arena on the main level of the Benham-Pence Student Center.  Additionally, the program is recruiting shoutcasters, who will be able to help stream competitions to the Wittenberg community and beyond. Prospective athletes should complete the Player Profile. Questions can be sent to Brown at

Wittenberg esports will announce competitive titles for the 2024-25 season soon. To stay up-to-date on the latest esports news and announcements, check out the University’s social media channels, and/or complete the player profile to get immediate program updates.

Social media platforms include the following:

Brown will lead Wittenberg esports to compete nationally in collegiate esports tournaments as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). NACE operates a variety of tournaments and leagues across different divisions of competition.
According to various news sources, the global esports market was valued at $1.22 billion in 2021 and is projected to expand to $5.48 billion by 2029. With the gaming industry reaching those kinds of numbers, students will have ample career opportunities that consist of advertising, promotion, media merchandising, ticketing, broadcast management, video game development, programming, etc.

“Esports at Wittenberg will not only be about gaming, but also about changing the game,” Brown said. “Together, we will build a supportive, dynamic community, as we bring our own distinct light to the global phenomenon of esports right here in Springfield, Ohio.”

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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