HUDSON VALLEY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — ESports have grown tremendously within the last several years, creating an outlet for gamers and adding another platform to continue their passion. For Hudson Valley Community College, they recently added to its faculty, announcing its first-ever ESports coach.

Bob Stranahan was welcomed in as the coach and will take the helm. The Capital Region native has some experience under his belt, too. He currently teaches health at Mohonasen High School and was their ESports coach for the last year and a half.

For the new Vikings ESports program, they offer a plethora of games for competitors looking to get involved. From FIFA, Fortnite, Madden, Overwatch, Rainbow Six, Rocket League, Super Smash, and several more—they range from individual to team games.

Stranahan, who’s always had a love for games himself, says ESports is much different than your casual gaming. It provides teamwork, critical thinking, sportsmanship, and endless positive outcomes. He says his goal is to give students another outlet for creativity and bring a community of gamers together.

“The amount of job opportunities and scholarships to students beyond this, being Hudson Valley and being a community college, there’s millions of dollars in scholarships offered to ESports athletes last year and that just only amplifies and validates how important ESports is,” Stranahan said. “It’s not just somebody sitting home alone playing video games. There’s so much more and so many bigger aspects to that.”

Stranahan says much like how members of other sports teams are proud to wear their apparel, he wants ESports players to feel the same way.

For students who are interested in trying out, the fall NJCAAE regular season is set to begin on September 20. They’ll be heavily recruiting and you can email Coach Stranahan.