Ball State University and Daleville Community Schools have announced a unique partnership in which esports student-athletes from both institutions will work together to form a meaningful educational and extracurricular experience. 

As part of this one-year agreement, Ball State will host students from Daleville Jr.-Sr. High School at its new Esports Center—located within the University’s Robert Bell Building—to engage in esports games, practices, and competitions. Daleville students will also benefit from coaching and instruction from Ball State Esports student-athletes and the program’s director and varsity head coach, Dan Marino. 

“Ball State’s esports program strives to provide its students with innovative opportunities to learn and to make connections with their peers and within the community,” Mr. Marino said. “Through our esports opportunities, students will find their passion and purpose at Ball State, and we are excited to partner with Daleville Community Schools to extend our reach and foster important relationships with the next generation of egamers.” 

Both Ball State and Daleville established their esports programs in 2020. At Ball State, more than 50 students are involved in the varsity esports program, and more than 700 students participate in esports club activities. The varsity team competes primarily with 12 members of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in the independent Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC) in multiple games, including Overwatch, Rocket League, and League of Legends. 

Daleville Jr.-Sr. High School’s esports program will compete as a club team this season within the Indiana High School Esports Network (IHSEN). The Daleville varsity team, which consists of 10 students, will compete in multiple games, including Valorant, Rocket League, and Fortnite. The team is being led by Jeremiah Norris, Adam Jones, and Tim Crist. 

“Esports is emerging quickly as a global enterprise, and it’s a great example of the potential that exists for our students to learn, have some fun, and develop their skills—if they decide to do so—and turn what was, not that long ago, almost solely an extracurricular activity into a potential career opportunity,” said Greg Roach, Daleville Community Schools’ superintendent. 

Dr. Paaige Turner, dean of Ball State’s College of Communication, Information, and Media, which offers the University’s esports program and Esports Production concentration, said she is looking forward to the opportunity to invite the students at Daleville Community Schools to build upon their esports experiences and their education in partnership with Ball State. 

“We are proud of our esports program,” Dean Turner said. “And we are deeply committed to offering a curriculum and co-curricular experience that is as engaging as it is relevant to meet the expectations of our students and those who are considering pursuing an education at Ball State.”