Illinois Wesleyan Esports finds head coach

Callum Fletcher will take on the position of Illinois Wesleyan’s first Esports head coach. (WJBC File Photo)

By Patrick Baron

BLOOMINGTON – Illinois Wesleyan University’s Esports program has found its head coach.

Callum Fletcher, 25, had worked at Play Mecahnix in Glen Ellyn, Il., for over two years before he read that IWU was searching for a head coach for its Esports program. Fletcher said Esports isn’t all about mashing buttons and staring at a screen; it involves strategy and working together with a team.

“It teaches these players critical thinking, it teaches them communication, it teaches them team work,” Fletcher explained. “It allows them to be in an environment that is very, very reliant on giving and taking feedback and criticism – those are all skills that you can take into the professional workplace.”

But it won’t be 24/7 gaming for IWU’s Esports team; Fletcher notes the players will be held to the same academic standard as university athletes.

“All of our players will have the same grade standards that the varsity football team, the soccer team, the tennis team will have here,” said Fletcher. “So our players will not be slacking off playing games, they will be working hard on their academics primarily. This is an academic institution that holds that to very high regards, so our players will hold that to high regard.”

IWU is one of 600 colleges and universities across the country to have an Esports program.

Patrick Baron can be reached at patrick.baron@cumulus.com.

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