shenandoah university formalizes partnership with netherlands based esports company
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Shenandoah University formalizes partnership with Netherlands-based esports company

shenandoah universityShenandoah University’s esports program signed a memorandum of understanding with the Amsterdam-based esports and tech company H20 on Friday outlining the ways in which both institutions will work together to provide students a far-reaching educational experience in the fast-growing field.

Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.; SU Provost Cameron McCoy, Ph.D.; Dean of the School of Business Astrid Sheil, Ph.D.; Shenandoah’s Director of Esports Joey Gawrysiak, Ph.D.; and H20 CEO Martijn van der Craats participated in the MOU signing, which took place in Shenandoah’s esports arena.

The memo formalized the cooperation between Shenandoah and H20 that began when six SU students and two faculty members traveled to the Netherlands in October 2021 to meet with esports professionals and help with an event at the H20 esports campus.

Since that trip, Dr. Gawrysiak has worked with Shenandoah administrators and H20’s leadership to create the first international partnership of its kind, which will provide international experiences and opportunities for learners at both institutions.

“This partnership will continue to show how SU esports goes beyond gaming to offer experiences in and through esports that nobody else can offer, as we prepare students to be successful upon graduation,” said Gawrysiak. “Traveling and working with people from H20 will help our learners understand international esports business and global competencies that go beyond esports and gaming.”

This partnership will include faculty and student exchange opportunities and collaboration on esports research and projects.

“For H20, education is an important pillar in our mission to get esports integrated into society,” said Van der Craats. “Working together with the academic esports program at SU to reach these goals has been a great experience so far, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds. Signing the MOU is a big step forward to do great things.”

In addition to hosting a large gaming venue, Rabo Esports Stadium, the H20 esports campus also includes Hogeschool van Amsterdam’s minor dedicated to esports, virtual and augmented reality, and other creative technology. Shenandoah’s intent is to work with H20 on events, production, esports performance and general tech business.

Esports, short for electronic sports, is defined as a form of competition using video games.

For more information on the esports program at SU, visit su.edu/esports/

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.