Mitchell Athletics to Add Esports in 2021

Mitchell College has partnered with Maryland Esports Training Academy™ (META™) to add esports to its athletics offerings, as announced today by Interim Director of Athletics Todd Peretz.

The program, which is slated to launch in spring 2021, will cater to players of all skill levels. Mitchell plans to recruit members from both on campus and off for its debut season. New and current students who are interested should contact for more information.

Esports—which describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming—is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports, more than 170 U.S. colleges offer esports programs.

Chris Leonard, owner and CEO of META™, will help usher the Mariners into the esports realm. His company offers an esports management solution that supplies multiple levels of support—including coaching and instruction, scheduling, recruiting, and more—to ensure a top-flight experience.

“When we were surveying and doing research on an esports program, it was critical for us to find a partner who understood Mitchell’s DNA,” said Peretz. “We are fortunate that we found just that in META™. With Chris and his staff at the helm, we are confident that both the novice and elite gamer will be challenged in an inclusive environment.”

META™ places a heavy focus on building and developing student-athletes’ skills through game specific training, teamwork, communication and leadership. All instruction is delivered by certified pro and college esport coaches who offer expertise on games including Rocket League, Fortnite, Valorant, Overwatch, and League of Legends.

The Mariners will have access to all of META™’s services, which include compliance, social media management, physical fitness and stress management, scheduling and live streaming. META™ will also create customized playbooks and team jerseys as well as a Mitchell Discord server.

“Mitchell College has a strong foundation and culture of winning,” said Leonard. “META™ is also proud of this partnership, and we are ready to build something special here.”

The announcement will surely raise excitement on a campus that already boasts a popular competitive gaming club. Now in its fourth year of existence, the club has a membership of over 75 students who regularly hold events in the Red Barn.

“The students at Mitchell love competitive gaming,” said Stephan Johnson, who founded the club in 2017. “I think a lot of our players will embrace the opportunity to take their game to the next level. I’m definitely looking forward to it.”