Mountain Gateway Community College (MGCC) announced that Lumos, a leading 100% Fiber Optic Internet company that serves most of the Alleghany Highlands, donated $5,000 to the college’s new eSports program. The gift will enable the college to pursue its plan to form an eSports team and hire coach, Ryan Borden of Hot Springs, Va., for the fall 2023 season.
“We are grateful to Lumos for sharing in our plans to develop an eSports program for the college beginning in Fall 2023,” said Dr. John Rainone, MGCC President. “The concept and the strength of this plan is solely dependent upon the shared vision that we must bridge the digital divide, growing economic development and digital literacy. MGCC previously announced its membership in the National Junior College Athletic Association, attracting talented coaches and helping us prepare to bring programs to fruition. Community is important to us, as I know it is to Lumos. Both MGCC and Lumos have tremendously impacted families and individuals in our region.”
Lumos has an impressive footprint across the greater MGCC service area. In November 2021, the company announced universal fiber optic coverage in its service area of the Alleghany Highlands, which includes Covington, Clifton Forge, Iron Gate and approximately 95% of Alleghany County.
“Fiber technology is crucial for gamers, as upload and download speeds can be the difference in winning or losing a match,” said Cat Mosley, Director of Market Development at Lumos. “We are proud to support MGCC and commend the college for being one of the first to formally create an eSports program, which is rapidly growing in popularity nationwide.”
“Lumos has long supported Mountain Gateway Community College,” said Amy Phillips, Executive Director of the MGCC Educational Foundation. “Their donation to our newly established eSports program will provide students with the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level with colleges from across the country through various online gaming platforms. We are so thankful to Lumos for their ongoing partnership and support for our students.”
Coach Borden helped start the eSports program at Bath County High School and comes to MGCC with four years of eSports coaching experience, leading high school teams in titles such as Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, Ultimate and League of Legends. Borden’s coaching philosophy is centered on making every student-athlete feel accepted and part of the team. He says his goals are to spread the word about eSports to the community, get MGCC competing and playing in matches, and keep sportsmanship/professionalism as a focus.
eSports – short for electronic sports – is a form of competition using video games, such as Call of Duty, Halo, Mario Kart, Rocket League, Madden 21, FIFA 21, Rainbow Six Siege and many more.