Fanshawe Athletics names first esports head coach

Header image for the article Fanshawe Athletics names first esports head coach Credit: PROVIDED BY TYLER HETHERINGTON
Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) events and activities coordinator Tyler Hetherington is the head coach of Fanshawe's new esports team.

Fanshawe Athletics has announced Tyler Hetherington as the College’s first esports head coach.

Fanshawe recently joined the new Ontario Post Secondary Esports (OPSE) league to compete against other colleges and universities around the province in four esports games: Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch and Rocket League. Hetherington will head the new Falcons ESports extramural team.

“I’m very excited to take esports to the athletics level,” said Hetherington. “I’m proud that Fanshawe Falcons are behind the esports movement, and I hope to lead the team to varsity level.”

Hetherington is the events and activities coordinator for the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU). Shortly after being hired in 2016, he began Fanshawe’s Ultimate Esports League (FUEL), introducing esports to the Fanshawe College community.

In 2018, a FUEL member represented Fanshawe at the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo Canada Cup tournament in Toronto. Under Hetherington’s direction, the program flourished to include individuals and teams across multiple games competing in local and national tournaments. Any student can sign up to join the recreational league at fsu.ca/fuel.

In July, Fanshawe Athletics put out the call for video game enthusiasts to try out for its own new esports team. While all current varsity sports have been cancelled until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic, esports can be played remotely.

The world of esports is not gender- specific, and also breaks off from the stereotype of competitors being physically inactive.

“Esports is not what it used to be,” said Hetherington. “The image of the gamer has transformed. The game requires having a healthy body and mind. Skills are built with muscle memory, just like in any other sport.”

Hetherington added that the social aspect of taking part in the Falcons Esports team is another huge benefit to prospective players.

The Falcons Esports team will be one of the inaugural members of OPSE, which is set to launch in the fall. The sport will at first be played at the extramural level, with the potential to become a part of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA).

The application for tryouts can be found at fanshawefalcons.ca/recreation/Esports. The season will run from November to March.