Skip to main content
online degree program - how online learning works
educating armed forces and veterans
Contact Admissions for how to enroll at Saint Leo University.
Contact Admissions to discuss financial aid options.
Click here to schedule a campus visit!
Learn more about how to start an online degree today!
image showing top half of building on Saint Leo University's campus

Saint Leo 360 Podcast

Episode 53: Gaming with the Saint Leo Esports Team

Posted by Greg Lindberg on February 15, 2022
Episode 53: Gaming with the Saint Leo Esports Team

Download Episode 53 Transcript

Speaker 1:
Saint Leo 360, a 360 degree overview of the Saint Leo University community.

Greg Lindberg:
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast. This is your host, Greg Lindberg, here on this episode of the podcast. Our topic of discussion is the Esports team here at Saint Leo University. And I know that we are super excited to have launched this team about two years ago now at university campus. And we've got the team manager as well as a couple members of the team joining us here on the podcast, really excited about this. So first off, I'd like to introduce Bovey Zhang, who is the team manager and coach of the Saint Leo Esports team. Bovey, welcome.

Bovey Zhang:
Thank you, Greg. I'm glad to be here.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Appreciate your time and thanks for joining us. And then we also have two students. We have Caleb Hunt. Caleb, welcome to the podcast.

Caleb Hunt:
Thank you very much. Happy to be here.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely. And then we also have Madelyn Eden. Madelyn, welcome.

Madelyn Eden:
Hi. Thank you. It's so wonderful to be here.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Thanks for joining us as well. So let's go ahead and start with Bovey. And so Bovey, just give us an overview of your personal background, your professional background to start off here.

Bovey Zhang:
Okay, perfect. My name is Bovey Zhang. I guess a little bit about by myself, I graduated from Liberty University with a major in Business Management Information Systems. I have a big background into IT and cybersecurity and things like that. And that's where I started my career path was in cybersecurity and IT. I guess for a professional standpoint, how I got into Esports, it was just something that I was very passionate about when I was growing up in college. I just saw people playing games and doing clubs and things like that. And I decided that this was something that I was really passionate about. So I developed my own Esports organization from the ground up and that transitioned to me with multiple positions for working for a [inaudible 00:02:17] club in Turkey and we built a whole Esports organization over there. Last year, I was the director of Esports for Cottey College, where we built a whole Esport spectrum for budgeting and computers in the whole room. Now, I'm here at Saint Leo building a program for this college and going from there.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. Very cool. And so as far as Esports, if someone's listening to this who they hear Esports and they're like, "What the heck does that actually mean?" Just give us an intro to Esports and maybe some examples of some of the games as well.

Bovey Zhang:
Of course. So Esports is basically competitive video gaming, right? It's very simple as it is for popular titles like Call of Duty or Halo, is basically a team is going to start competing with another team on a competitive level and they're able to win prize money and we're part of leagues and things like that. So that's the fundamentals of what Esports is. There's multiple games in Esports that people play. Currently, our school has four of them that we do. It's called League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League and Smash Bros. And we compete in those Esports and we compete against different colleges and we go out and we do it online, or we go to their venue or they go to ours, vice versa. So that's really the baseline of what competitive Esports is.

Greg Lindberg:
Got you, I see. And then I know that Esports has just become such a booming industry and especially within higher ed, a lot of colleges, universities starting teams. And just talk to me about why you think it's become so popular.

Bovey Zhang:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). I've actually seen this scene grew up from 10 to 15 years ago. But now, it's getting more futile where they realize that this is the industry and ecosystem where students are coming in. Most of them either have a computer, have a console, or have a mobile phone and people playing games on it. And I feel like it's just so accessible now. It's why Esports is so popular within the collegiate space, because eventually we do have professional Esports organizations out there already, eventually in the collegiate scene, recruitment from the pro scene from the collegiate scene is going to happen within the next five to 10 years, no doubt. So I think that's why collegiate is picking it up because it's a good opportunity for students to do something that maybe they wanted to be a part of the team, but they didn't want to do physical activity sports. Guess what? They have Esports and we're able to bring diversity and inclusion into the program to get those people out and be able to showcase their talents in a competitive sense.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. All great points. Appreciate that feedback. And so as far as your role here at Saint Leo as team manager and coach, first just talk to me about how this opportunity came about for you and then just what your role and your duties are in general.

Bovey Zhang:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Very good. So the opportunity, it's very interesting because it's basically growing up and your parents telling you that gaming can't be a future, right? And now, Esports and gaming, I literally built a whole career out of just playing games and teaching people how to play games. So the idea behind that and the fundamentals are pretty interesting actually growing up in that space itself. Esports was something that I was passionate about, right? I did it for free for a very long time just because I enjoyed it, right? And I was able to be a part of the space. And gaining that knowledge and experience was able to transition to me when positions like these started popping up, where just like, "Oh, we're looking for Esports managers, we're looking for directors, we're looking for people that know how Esports work or understand what Esports is."

Bovey Zhang:
So it's a very funny story. I actually went to Canada a few months ago and I wasn't actually looking into coming to Florida. But there was an opportunity that just came out of nowhere that they were looking for an Esports manager. I said, "Okay, cool. Let's apply. Let's see what's going on with here." And lo behold, I'm here and it's been a wonderful time. I really love the students here and the opportunity that the school has provided for me. And just being that liaison where gaming can be a future, I feel like that's something that I emphasize and I do a lot of career building here. So my role as an Esports manager coach is very diverse in some sense. Yes, I teach people how to play games, but there's a lot of fundamentals that Esports can do for future students.

Bovey Zhang:
For me, Esports is a career driven path where there's so many opportunities that we didn't have before are now happening. Hence, the position I am in now or different other positions within the Esports space. They've driven a lot of career opportunities for future people that maybe they don't want to be players, right? They want to do something else within the space. Now, there's an opportunity to do so. So my role and title is not just coaching, but also be able to build leadership and be able to give them a career driven opportunity where before this was not a thing. Now is a good time to educate them and be able to entwine them into a competitive gaming space that they can enjoy and be very passionate about and do this for the career in the future. So I guess that's what my role and title is at the current moment.

Greg Lindberg:
Got you. Very cool. So I know that we are going to be chatting with two members of the team here in just a minute. But just from your perspective, Bovey, just talk to me about the team in general, just how you guys have done you since you've taken on this role last fall.

Bovey Zhang:
Perfect. So right now, we have over 35 students that are in the Esports program. We started with, I think Caleb is going to say, we started with a few select and last semester is when we started recruiting for players and games. Right now, we have a solid 35 and it's growing. It seems like there's very big interest of what Esports is and just coming here and being able to take over and be able to build a program and give them opportunities is really interesting. Like I said, currently, we have a varsity team that competes in League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League and Smash Bros. So those are the games we're competing in. Next year, I'm looking to add more games in, probably Valorant or FIFA 22 and things like that. But that's how the program is running right now. And it's been a really fun time and I have amazing students within the program. So that's a really cool opportunity to see everything grow.

Greg Lindberg:
Definitely. Very cool. And so as far as students who are eligible, what eligibility requirements are there to join the team and then as far as the time commitments involved?

Bovey Zhang:
Of course. So it really depends on what you're looking to do within the program itself. So we have a player side where right now, I like to call myself the gatekeeper, right? Where they actually play against me. And if they are able to beat me, they can join a team, right? Simple requirements. But in the future long run, right, it's basically where they have rankings and different probability statistics within the game. And we analyze that to see if they're the best fit for the team. But that's future tense. Right now, we're looking to grow the program to see who's interested and has a very good competitive sense in the future recruitment and different types of opportunities will arise.

Bovey Zhang:
If you don't want to be a player, we're actually building the business and marketing side within the Esports division. So if you're interested in commentating, casting, podcasting, graphic designers, video editors, right, a whole spectrum of things that Esports is involved, we give people those opportunities and can see what they can do and grow their skills within the program itself and see if they have a good longevity career behind it. So I guess those are the requirements currently at the moments.

Greg Lindberg:
I see. So definitely a lot of cool opportunities, even in addition to just the traditional game player.

Bovey Zhang:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). There's so much because I feel like I want to teach people that gaming is not just about playing a game or sitting on your computer, there's actually so many different atmospheres within Esports that people can do regardless if they're a player or not, right? So it's building that community and having everyone included, because this is something they really enjoy doing. So I feel like that opportunity itself is just something that you can take away and be able to go for the future of people that want to do something like this.

Greg Lindberg:
Exactly. Well said. So I know that we did open the Esports Arena I believe in 2021 on campus. And just talk to me about that arena and just how it's set up and what the students use that for.

Bovey Zhang:
Perfect. So currently, we have over 12 gaming computers all set up and the thing is, we have 34 players so we actually have to schedule what games they can play in the arena at certain days and times. So we get that all scheduled here and there. We do have a production set up now that we just finally built last week where we can have casters and commentators, so we can livestream all of our games with passing opportunities within the space. So people can watch it on the online base, through our Twitch platform. Overall, it looks like that we're expanding. Also, I think the room is a little too small to what we have now, just because we were able to build it so quickly and so big in a small certain time. So a future advancement, I wanted to take over the area into a more larger space. But that's something in the future that we can definitely address.

Greg Lindberg:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. For sure. And then I know you have to touched on the benefits of Esports aside from just the stereotypical game, video game playing, whatnot, anything else you wanted to mention just as far as how being involved in this type of team and this group can really benefit students?

Bovey Zhang:
100%. So eventually, my game plan is to actually give scholarship opportunities to students that want to be a part of Esports and gaming. That's actually in the works. For my last college, I was able to give over $20,000 of scholarships for people that wanted to compete and play in Esports, or be a part of the program. So I'm looking to push that within school of Saint Leo so people that are coming in, we'll help them with tuition, we'll get them like any other varsity team where they compete against other colleges. Currently right now, I was able to help out student workers. So we do have people that actually do student work for me that help build the Esports program from a marketing business standpoint, but also a player and a coach standpoint too.

Bovey Zhang:
So that's something I'm looking to grow and develop within the student base and grow the spectrum that we can build a very solid ecosystem within the sport itself, and hopefully be a name brand. When people come to Saint Leo, it's like, "Hey, I want to join this team because they're doing so well and this is such a great program here." So that's the game plan what we're looking to do in the future.

Greg Lindberg:
Nice. That's definitely exciting for sure. A lot of cool things it sounds like coming down the pike. All right, so let's move on to our students and some of the members of the Esports team. So let's start with Caleb Hunt. And Caleb, just talk to us about your background as far as where you grew up, went to high school and your journey to Saint Leo.

Caleb Hunt:
Okay. So let's start with this long behind story. So first up, I'm from Jacksonville, Florida, just three hours out from here. And honestly, high school, I went to Robert E. Lee high school. It's in the north side of Jacksonville. And honestly, from the very beginning, I've always been a gamer. I've always been like, "Hey..." I've always just enjoyed playing video games truthfully. And it's always been a thing where I'm like, "Okay, hey, I like to get this." I like to win. I like to basically push towards the end, whether it's with a team or by myself. And then how I ended up coming to Saint Leo, personally, I looked at very many schools. I actually wanted to do game development at first. Even being a gamer, I'm like, "Okay, I want to do something with this." And with doing game development, I'm like, "Maybe I could create these games I already have a lot of fun playing myself." So I was just like, "Let me look at some certain schools," design schools like Savannah College of Art and Design and all these other schools.

Caleb Hunt:
They weren't really giving me the financial support that I needed, whereas Saint Leo actually ended up doing it. And I actually talked to some faculty when I initially came here and there was word of an Esports club slash team that was actually competing when I actually came. So I was like, "Okay, let's come in here." And when I came, there was an Esports club that was going on that was doing competitions and stuff like that prior to us actually having the room up and everything. So Saint Leo ended up giving me a full ride scholarship. And not only that, I had a club that I felt like I could be part of something big and part of a bigger home away from home, because especially coming here without anyone, I didn't know a single person coming to Saint Leo at all. So I just ended up coming here and I've enjoyed it all four years honestly.

Greg Lindberg:
Wow. Very cool. So you're currently a senior, right?

Caleb Hunt:
Yes, I am actually currently a senior and I'm doing computer science. We didn't have any form of video game development, but because in the game development field, there is coding, there is a lot of stuff, I thought I could bring some of my skill sets from computer science actually into game development if I end up going into it. But I mean since the actual team is here and everything like that, I've actually started to pivot more into working in the Esports industry, talking to Bovey and everyone about, "Hey, how do I push forward? How do I actually get a career into the Esports field?" And honestly just working with them and building up my portfolio in a way where I'm like, "Hey, this is how I can market myself as someone that could help in this industry." And I really want to keep pushing forward to it.

Greg Lindberg:
Very cool. That's awesome. And so just talk a little more about academics here. So just talk to me about the choice of major and then any classes that you've really enjoyed, any professors that have really stood out to you.

Caleb Hunt:
So again, computer science major here. All throughout my four years, it's been a pretty fun ride. Out of all the majors, honestly, computer science majors are the biggest family here over everything else. And I can put my major on that. We can make discords for everything. We talk about these assignments. We work together on just about everything that we have going on. And if anything, one of the professors that stands out to me the most that's just been here all throughout my four years and helped me out, Dr. Reagan. If anyone ever wants any type of coding class or anything like that, Dr. Reagan will make it literally super easy for even a beginner to learn a coding language and at least be somewhat proficient at it. And he's just been my favorite teacher out of my four years being here honestly.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. Very cool. And then in addition to Esports, have you been a member of any other clubs or chapters, anything on campus?

Caleb Hunt:
I actually used to be an E-Board member of the K-pop and anime club. And then also, I participated in the math club before. K-pop and anime is just another side thing of mine that I really just like and it's always been just a hobby of mine to watch things. And as for math, I'm actually part of a scholarship program here at the school called EMACS, which is emerging mathematics and computer science majors. And one of the professors in there, she's a very big math head. She's one of the biggest math doctors that are here on the campus, Dr. Kiss. And she was just like, "Hey, Caleb, I need you to go and join up either math club or computer club." And honestly, I like math, I just don't like doing some of the work sometimes. But I was just like, "Okay." Maybe being part of the math club might make me have more of an appreciation for it. So I actually became part of the math club from there. And honestly, it was a fun time.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Sure. Nice. In terms of career goals, I know you mentioned possibly even exploring something within Esports, anything else you want to mention as far as what you like to do in your career?

Caleb Hunt:
Other than pursuing everything in Esports and everything like that, a little fun fact, before I even considered doing Esports or any type of computer science or any tech thing at all, I actually said since... Not since ninth grade, since kindergarten all the way up until ninth grade, I wanted to be a chef in any type of technical field. And a lot of people might be like, "Why chef?" Honestly, I can ask the same question. I don't know what little me was thinking. But back in kindergarten, I'm just like, "Yeah, I just want to be a chef." I always like eating food, that might stem from it a little bit. But as I got into ninth grade and I actually had a culinary class and I did the cooking and everything like that, I just sat back and thought I'm really on my computer more than I'm in the kitchen.

Caleb Hunt:
So it might make more sense to go down this path. And honestly, I haven't regret it ever since. I wouldn't mind learning more and more cooking as a side thing, but again, that's just a little fun fact that I used to be involved in a lot.

Greg Lindberg:
Got you. Very cool. So I know you did touch on your experience with Esports, but just if you want to elaborate a little more on what age did you first get into Esports? And maybe what was your first foray as far as which game maybe you started with?

Caleb Hunt:
So I guess honestly, I can say I've been involved in Esports as long as I've been really a gamer. With Esports, it really just comes down to games that can be played in competition a lot of the times. And even then, like what we said, it's not just gamers per se, it's people that want to do casting. It's the designers, it's the advertisement people. There's so many different things that go into it. And personally, I start off as the player. I'm still more of a player on the aspect of things, but I'm also branching out into more of the casting role right now. So doing a little bit more talking and showing off my skills, being able to talk and cast these certain games that we have, like League of Legends, like Overwatch and everything else like that. And I mean back when I was a kid, I played a lot of fighting games and everything like that.

Caleb Hunt:
But I'll say the main game that I started off with back in eighth grade was League of Legends. And then ever since then, I've been playing it for a really, really, really long time. So I could say literally as far back as middle school. And I mean from there, I just practiced myself even before I knew I really wanted to be part of this industry.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Sure. Very cool. And so talk to me about your current role with the Saint Leo Esports team and which game is your focus and any achievements, any accomplishments you'd like to mention?

Caleb Hunt:
So let's talk about this. I am the captain of the League of Legends team, also a player. And I am a player on the Smash Bros. ultimate team as well. As captain, I mean I'm still just like everyone else from the team. We're all just players of the game. We want to win. We want to push to end the game as fast as possible, to basically beat all the teams around us. But as a captain, I also have that role and that title of just being the overall leader of the team. I tend to make a lot of shot calls whenever we play games. I've just started recently coming up with just different team compositions for League of Legends and everything like that, and just trying to pull everyone together, make sure we're all on the same page and make sure everyone is just pushing to do their best and get better at the game because I mean a huge thing with Esports, just like honestly any other sport, you're not going to get better if you don't play the game.

Caleb Hunt:
So it's just like that might be a huge misconception that a lot of people have about Esports. It's not just gaming. The practice involved is just as hard and rigorous as everything else. We might not be physically moving around as much, but there's a lot of mental game practice. You have to be able to move your hands as much as possible, be able to hit these skill shots and have the knowledge of all the characters in these games and everything like that. There's a lot more that really goes into it. And as for Smash Bros., same thing goes for that. I'm a player more on that, but I also do have an odd knowledge on the game and I just try my best to help out and just make sure team morale is up honestly. Keep that up over everything because again, mental game is a huge thing in any type of sport whatsoever. And honestly, if we're talking about accomplishment and memorable moments, the trip that we took to CEO Dreamland in Orlando last semester was probably one of my most memorable things.

Caleb Hunt:
And honestly, I also count it as one of my biggest accomplishments because CEO Dreamland was one of my first... Well it was my first big fighting game tournament and we went for Smash Bros. ultimate. And I will say, I didn't lose my first big match, I lost my second and third one. But hey, we take one W, we take two Ls and it was my first one. So I'm like, "Okay, I just have a long way to go." And that was a really big eye opener for me in the sense that I have to put in a lot more work into just grinding out my games and be able to better myself, because it's one thing when you play against people that are from your area, but when you go to a place where there's people from all across the world, all across the state, all across the country really, it's like you're really small fish in a big pond.

Caleb Hunt:
So it's just like you have to be able to push yourself and go beyond literally everyone else. You need to be the best in the world, not just in your area. But I mean baby steps. So that's where we're going first. But I will say I'm the best in the school right now. Anyone can fight me on that.

Greg Lindberg:
Hey, I'll quote you on that. Let's see, what would you say you've learned most from this whole experience? I know Bovey was saying before, earlier in the recording here, just about there's so many benefits to being involved in this type of activity and this type of group.

Caleb Hunt:
I will say aside from the stuff that Bovey said about the benefits and everything that go into it, before coming and having Bovey and everyone just guide me on what exactly Esports is involved in, I didn't really think about the outside things other than being a player. Like I said, there's so many different things, I go into it and as I've just sat by myself and thought about how Esports operates, it's almost like operating a movie in a sense. A lot of people think, "Yo, the movie is just a lot of the actors." You sit here and look at Avengers and you know all the memorable people like Ironman, Captain America and all that stuff like that. But again, a lot of people really don't think about, "Okay, there's people that had to put out the advertisements for this. There's the people that actually had to recruit the actors and any new people that are coming in into this."

Caleb Hunt:
It's a huge, huge collaboration of just different minds other than the players. And I just sat here and I'm just like, "I have to show appreciation to everyone else and just know hey, even if I don't end up being the best player in the world or something like that, there's other ways I can get involved and I could still enjoy the sport. I could still enjoy everything else that's involved with it.

Greg Lindberg:
Exactly. Yeah, very well said. So let's move on to Madelyn Eden now. And so Madelyn, just give us your story as far as your background and high school and how you came to Saint Leo as well.

Madelyn Eden:
Hi, I'm Madelyn Eden. So I'm a sophomore here at Saint Leo. I'm originally from Cleveland, Ohio, but I've lived here since I was probably three, so you could say I'm a Floridian. Yeah. After that long time, I guess you would. But I went to school at Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland, not too far from here. And then I moved from my old home in Bartow to Mulberry if you guys know where that is. It's a little bit south of Lakeland, so I'm not too far from home. But here on the Esports, I'm one of the team managers. And it's just been a great experience. This is something I've wanted to try after learning more about it this past year and then this coming semester that we're in currently in. It was something fun that I got to listen and actually experience through not only my friends, but even my significant other who used to be on the Esports team who got me intrigued by this.

Madelyn Eden:
And now, I have a little brother who is into Esports now who is thinking about coming to Saint Leo and wants to join Esports. Definitely, he wants to come up as soon as he can.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, cool.

Madelyn Eden:
He's 13, so I might bring him up for his birthday this month.

Greg Lindberg:
Nice. Bring him on in for a tour.

Madelyn Eden:
Definitely.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. So yeah, just talk to me about your choice of Saint Leo originally and your degree program and a little more as far as academics go.

Madelyn Eden:
I came here because I am on the indoor volleyball team. I am number 13 and I'm on the middle.

Greg Lindberg:
Oh, cool.

Madelyn Eden:
Yeah. So I came am here because I wanted to play volleyball and because I'm going to major in both business management and accounting. So those are the majors I wish to become mastered in. So I will say two more years and be a master in both accounting and business management. If not business management, then just accounting because it looks good on a resume to have a master and a major rather than just two majors.

Greg Lindberg:
Good point. Yeah.

Madelyn Eden:
So I am also on the honors program here at Saint Leo University. I get that as a scholarship as well, not only through my academic scholarships that I got through my awards in high school was I got awarded to be part of the National Society of High School Scholars, which is also known as the NSHSS. So I got scholarships through them to where it helped pay off all of my college. So I made sure to work my butt off so my family didn't have to pay a single dime because not many people can go through athletically or get enough academic aspect to go to college and come out debt free. But I made sure that since I was not one of those fortunate people to make sure my family didn't have to go through that because I love my family and I wish for them to stay happy. And I also work part-time and I'm working here at the Esports team as a team manager so that I can help my family out whenever I can.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. Hey, congrats on all those achievements and that's really amazing and I commend you a lot.

Madelyn Eden:
Thank you. And it's also quite... Not difficult, but it's a bit challenging also working this job here at Esports, but also I'm a professional volleyball referee. So not only do I play the game, but I ref the game.

Greg Lindberg:
So as far as career goals, what career, ideas, goals, do you have in mind?

Madelyn Eden:
So growing up since I was younger, I had many influences through family and through of course social media and growing up dreaming of things. Everyone has an American dream. My dream was to become an Olympian. I wish to play in the Olympics as volleyball. And though I might not be able to because I didn't know how tall I was going to be. I'm 6'2, because my dad's 6'7 and my mom's 5'4. So I got a bit gracious in that aspect. But something that I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to, what if I got injured? I had to have at least some backup plan. Being 12-year-old me, loving math unlike Caleb here, I quite love math and something my cousin showed me was become an accountant. And so for years, I wanted to be an accountant as a backup to becoming an actuary was the next step in my process because my cousin went back for school, got IT and became, as I said, an actuary.

Madelyn Eden:
So if I can't get an actuarial program, I'll go for an accountant position. But my top goal is to become an Olympian for the indoor volleyball team, whether I go play abroad after college or I just keep playing nationally until then.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. Wow, that's awesome.

Madelyn Eden:
Thank you.

Greg Lindberg:
And yeah, I'm definitely curious about, I know you mentioned indoor volleyball and then Esports and the similarities and differences between those two types of teams and environments, and yeah, just talk to me a little bit about that.

Madelyn Eden:
Indeed. So what's nice is that being a team manager, I'm required to coordinate team scrimmages with the team captain, so I'm supposed to go and talk to the captains, figure out the times of their scrimmages, make an organized chart for that. And then I'm able to manage the day to day operation of people showing up to practice and games. I'm also in charge of working with content managers to produce marketing and different content strategies. So come up with creative ways, as Caleb said, to show and commercialize Esports that this beautiful group can come grow and spread out throughout the whole thing. We're talking about possibly maybe expanding a little bit within our room here. So hopefully, Bovey can get on top of that and we can get the room expanded next door. And I'm also in charge of able to keep things organized and planned, being able to understand what we need for Esports, both the arena and for the players.

Madelyn Eden:
So whether that is more inventory, upgrading, maybe some vending machines if we upgrade, better computers, headphones, keeping track of everything, cleaning supplies with COVID, everything and going on. And then learn the objective of the Esports program and being able to represent the team not only while I'm here working, but also in a social manager, because even though I may be the team manager in here and not many people know that, I am a face, one of the faces for Esports because not only do our players represent us, but our team, us working Esports in the background like I do, the business side of it, we are also faces of it. Though you might not think it since we work in the background, we are also faces just like your coach, just like your trainers for winning college matches and professional matches. Even the referees. Hint, hint, wink, wink, like me. And then we're supposed to be comfortable as well for interviews.

Madelyn Eden:
So I always made myself think about it being the glorified secretary of Esports, because I'm always figuring out the time management and then taking notes during meetings. And so that people can know what they need to do and when they need it, or hey, set a reminder to so and so about what we talked about, or if someone needs a reminder what we talked about later on, I'll have the formal documents of that meeting.

Greg Lindberg:
Exactly. Wow. That makes my head hurt, but-

Madelyn Eden:
It makes me excited.

Greg Lindberg:
A lot to keep track of.

Madelyn Eden:
Another reason why I'm an accountant and why I like math.

Greg Lindberg:
I am curious just your perspective being one of the female members of the team. I know that in general, girls, women have really jumped into Esports quite a bit and that whole stereotype of the male gamer is definitely not accurate anymore. And just talk to me about your perspective on that.

Madelyn Eden:
So my perspective on that is that yes, a lot of girls are taking more interest. I mean heck, I do a lot of sniping games. But with our content because we have to be respectful and considerate of the age brackets that watch, and also what is our image of Esports? Are we representing people play gory things or inappropriate things? No, that's not us. Yes, it may be a fun game. But [inaudible 00:33:26] no. So something that I quite like about being one of the female members is that not only is it a different spin, you get to learn about everyone else, but sometimes the gender of your role or the gender part of being a part of the team and of this family, it doesn't really matter because when you join Esports, you see and feel like, "Hey, I've got more siblings," or, "Hey, I'm getting some new buddies or people I can know who I can feel comfortable and talk to."

Madelyn Eden:
And that's what something's nice about being part of Esports and just any other team you would be on generally. So being one of the newer or the few females that are coming on to our team, it's been a great experience and I hope to continue it because I feel like I bring a little touch to something, not to say the feminine touch as the old saying goes, but just a little touch because I'm bringing a little bit of Maddie, whereas my teammates call me Joe, a little bit of Joe sparkle to myself.

Greg Lindberg:
Very cool. I appreciate that insight. And so as far as your experience on the team, any accomplishments, achievements, anything you want to mention?

Madelyn Eden:
So since I have just started this semester, I have very few little. But after hearing so many friends, when I first came to Esports, I was introduced and heard about it through my friend here, Caleb, through one of our other players, his name is Pedro. And then of course, my significant other, Chase France, he was part of the team and I believe one of the captains as well. And he helped build Esports as well along with Bovey and the others. And so I learned through them and I got some memories through them, though I was not part of Esports. But within this little time that I have been through Esports and with Esports, one of my favorite nights, Caleb, can attest this, was when we played League of Legends and we did so great, but then we did so terrible and then we did so great again.

Madelyn Eden:
And then even though we do lose, we all learn from it and we all laugh about it. And I think my greatest moment is that even though we're losing, hearing Bovey talk and then Pedro give his talk when they're in between the rounds going on to the next game, it's great seeing that, seeing how they're able and yearning to listen how they can improve so that we can grow as a team and grow as a sport, not just through that, but also it feels like we're growing as a family as well. And so that I think is my greatest memory is seeing my peers and people I'm working for grow in an aspect of not only bettering themselves, but also bettering their gaming time, their minds and how they are becoming a better person too.

Greg Lindberg:
Sure. Sure. Very well said. And then from your standpoint, what would you say you've enjoyed most about the Esports experience thus far? I know you're still pretty early on. And have you learned or taken away anything so far as well?

Madelyn Eden:
Anything I have taken away from this is that definitely Esports is growing. It is changing. And with everything that's going on is that you can't stop this change because it's something that is going to come and I hope people are ready for it, because this is the most exciting thing you can do. Though people may not see it as exciting because you're just gaining, it is the most fun thing to watch is if you're watching a live game. So if you're in here, in the rooms or when you go to competitions, you can see the excitement and you can see the adrenaline build up, even though you're not playing it, you're on the sidelines jumping or you can't sit still because you can see all of this movement, all the sound. And you're seeing how well they're doing. Or even if they're not doing well, you're cheering on for them. And it's like you're passing through your encouragement and your own essence into your teammate, just as you would a teammate on a regular court like through volleyball.

Madelyn Eden:
It's definitely a sport. Even though it's not a physical sport, major physical sport, it's definitely a mental sport because I game as well. But sadly, the game that I do, I can't play here because Forza, we don't really know how to do that. And then of course, there are some games where even though it's not much, there's still some stuff that can't be shown or broadcast and when we do present our own games or our own live streams, because to some age groups and to some aspects, even some other reasons, they can't be seen or they can't be shown due to how people would react to it. But definitely it is the best thing to do whenever I come and watch my teammates play, even though I may sit here and do homework or take notes for meetings and listen to Bovey and then yell at the kids to move their butts or kids to do better at practice, it's definitely a great community to be part of.

Greg Lindberg:
Right. Definitely appreciate that insight. Okay. So then to wrap up here, I just wanted to give each you guys a chance to offer some final comments and maybe focusing on why you'd recommend someone to consider Saint Leo University and especially the Esports team. And Bovey, we can start with you.

Bovey Zhang:
Yeah, very good. Well I mean Esports is growing and Saint Leo has been phenomenal. We have amazing people here, a good group of students and friends and family. And like I said, this is open for everyone, right? We're very diverse. We're very inclusive in what we do and we can bring anyone who would love to be a part of this family. But overall, I mean this is a new program for us. So we have a lot of things that we want to promote and pay attention to. So if anybody's interested in what we're doing, we're actually active on social media, on twitter.com/saintleoesports, and same as our Twitch page and our Instagram page, it's the same thing. So trying to see what we're going to do in the room. We'll be posting a lot more content out so you see what our students are doing and basically how this room is developing within the school and basically what we're doing here as a whole program.

Bovey Zhang:
So that's something I want to emphasize and it's doing amazing, right? It's growing really quick and hopefully everyone catches this trend and be a part of this as a full.

Greg Lindberg:
Absolutely. Well said. And Caleb, how about you?

Caleb Hunt:
I mean honestly, just to build off of what Bovey is saying, yes, we're a huge inclusive family here. Honestly, I am down to have a whole bunch of new teammates, a bunch of new people that want to bring interest into this. Or even if you're not interested in Esport, Saint Leo is just a really good school in general. I very much appreciate the family that I've made here and how included and how just the vibe of the whole entire school, especially some of the people here, it feels really, really, really nice. And it's honestly always been a good time here while I've been here. Other than that, follow our Twitch, twitch.tv/saintleoesports. And yeah, that's about it for me.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. And Madelyn, any final thoughts?

Madelyn Eden:
Even though you're not a gamer or a major gamer, definitely come down if you're willing to learn how to draw, animate for posters, how to become someone who wants to be maybe a newscaster like Caleb's trying to do, be like one of those people where you go to games and you hear the announcers in the background when you go and watch. Become a caster. If you want to do enthusiastic things on talking about, I don't know, how someone's killing this other person or defeating them, definitely. Now, you're cheering on the teammates in the background. It's something fun to do. But definitely if you don't play or if you don't have any games, but you do want to be part of this community, there are other spots you can do or other roles you can. And who knows? Maybe later on, we might get these games that aren't on you now. But definitely come and join. Come join me, keep these boys and girls in the shape, and I would love to have you on the manager side of the team.

Greg Lindberg:
Awesome. Okay. So again, we've been visiting with Bovey Zhang, Caleb Hunt and Madelyn Eden. And just wanted to thank you guys so much for your time, really enjoyed the conversation. And thanks for joining us here on the Saint Leo 360 Podcast.

Bovey Zhang:
Thank you, Greg. It's been a pleasure and we're excited to tell our story to you and the group of people. But I appreciate everything.

Caleb Hunt:
Appreciate it very much.

Madelyn Eden:
Definitely. Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:
To hear more episodes of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast, visit saintleo.edu/podcast. To learn more about Saint Leo's programs and services, call 877-622-2099 or visit saintleo.edu.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, our focus of discussion is the Esports team at Saint Leo University. Our three guests are Bovey Zhang, the manager and coach of the Saint Leo Esports team, along with students and Esports team members Caleb Hunt and Madelyn Eden. They spoke about:

  • Zhang’s personal and professional background
  • A simple definition of Esports and examples of some games
  • How Zhang got into eSports and his experience
  • Why Esports has become such a booming industry, specifically in higher education
  • Zhang’s journey to Saint Leo University and his role with the team
  • Who is eligible to join the team and the commitments involved
  • The Esports arena on campus and other ways students can practice and participate
  • How participating in eSports can benefit students socially, academically, and professionally
  • Where the students, Hunt and Eden, grew up, attended high school, and why they chose Saint Leo for higher education
  • Their degree programs and career goals
  • How they got into Esports and their roles with the team
  • What they have taken away from the experience and why they would recommend other students get involved in Esports

Links & Resources

Visit the Saint Leo Esports page to learn more about the Saint Leo Esports team.

Follow the team on Twitter.

Check out the team’s Instagram.

Watch the team compete on Twitch.

pursue business degree

Recent Episodes

Subscribe to Email Updates

Request More Information