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Another award in the arsenal

Ball State wins Esports Community of the Year award

MUNCIE, Ind.--- Ball State Esports, adding another piece of hardware to their fast-growing collection. The program earned the Esports Collegiate Community of The Year award from The Collegiate Sports Management Group. 

This is the first year it has been awarded, but this honor is given for reasons other than their excellence in the gaming arena, according to Ball State Esports Director Dan Marino.

"It has nothing to do with our competition, which I think is also award worthy but more about how our students are always kind and courteous,” said Marino. “We have a culture where we don't really complain and just try to get it done.”

This kind of award isn't just given to anyone. Marino and his students have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort building their program into a place that warmly welcomes over 500 students. Students like Esports Community Manager Alex Hornbach and Esports President Brooke Bonek who have helped build a program and a community that they can call home.

"If you want to play, we want you here,” said Hornbach. “We want to have you be a part of the community. I know personally coming in freshman year I didn't really have anywhere to go. Esports gave me a place to be, so l want that for other people.”

"It means a lot to me,” Bonek said. “I have found friends as well as a lot of leadership experience through this program."

With all of the love and effort put into their community, Marino feels the future of the Ball State Esports program is bright.

“We have a lot of really exciting projects being worked on,” said Marino. “Everything from what the teams are doing on the day to day and in their competitions to what our broadcast team is doing. I think we're on a trajectory that not many other college programs can match currently and that's really exciting."

Marino and his students will look to expand upon their already successful program throughout their 2022-23 varsity gaming campaign.

Contact Andy Newman with comments at asnewman2@bsu.edu