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Esports coaches gather in Boise for NAECAD conference

Various collegiate coaches and esports industry insiders gatherd at the Boise State Esports Arena last week. The arena hosted the 6th annual NAECAD (National Association of Esports Coaches and Directors) conference June 8-9. Around 50 attendees participated in listening to keynote addresses, round table discussions, and one on one meetings to discuss to future of collegiate esports.

Dr. Chris Haskell and Dr. Brett Shelton both spoke at the event. Haskell currently serves as the head coach of Boise State Esports and runs the competative part of the program. Dr. Shelton works with the College of Innovation and Design, provides esports related classes for students, and runs the academic part of the program. During the event, various coaches of other esports programs asked Dr. Haskell and Shelton many questions about how to emulate Boise State’s facilies and broadcast quality.

A full battleground during the NAECAD annual conference.

Although the event mainly consisted of speeches given by honored guests, many attendees found time to play their favorite games in the arena and battleground during the event.Various exhibition matches took place over both days of the event. Coaches formed teams that competed in League of Ledgends and Overwatch on Thursday, and Valorant and Rocket League on Friday. While professional casters such as Artemis Rainn and Jacob Palmer did host all the matches, the atmosphere in the arena during the matches was anything but professional. Many a cries of frustration and verbal taunting could be heard between all of the coaches.

However, at the end of the day, the matches were all in good fun and served as a nice way of unwinding after days of listening to keynote adresses. Overall, the event was a big success.

Written by Jacob Palmer