MORGANTOWN — The WVU Esports program has made enormous strides in a brief period of time since its creation just a few years in the past. That pattern continued final month with the announcement of WVU Lotus, the primary feminine varsity roster inside the WVU esports program and the primary all-female varsity Rocket League roster in the whole nation on the collegiate degree.
WVU Esports director and varsity head coach Josh Steger mentioned implementing an all-female roster is one thing that was vital to him from the start of this system and is a big step towards the way forward for esports at WVU.
“Lots of people at all times speak about wanting to incorporate girls into esports and so they don’t take the time to search out the expertise and implement the expertise,” Steger mentioned. “We noticed the chance to do that and I actually generally you must simply step up and be the primary to do one thing and get the ball rolling.”
Emma Krol, Kira O’Connor, and junior Cayla Roberts make up the Lotus roster.
Krol got here to WVU from Reitdiep, Netherlands in August 2023 and serves because the crew captain. Beforehand, she performed professionally for the Kansas Metropolis Pioneers and Emisure within the Ladies’s Carball League. She mentioned she knew WVU was the proper match for her straight away and the chance to play Rocket League whereas additionally incomes her criminology diploma was a dream.
“Emma is so pushed and hungry to win,” Steger mentioned of his captain. “She has one thing that plenty of feminine expertise doesn’t significantly have in the intervening time and seeing how she performs, it’s clear that she will be able to compete at a excessive degree and we thought we might have the ability to present her with a very good alternative. There was additionally the facet of leaving her life at dwelling within the Netherlands and shifting to America and West Virginia to pursue the possibility. It exhibits how passionate she is about it and the way a lot she desires to succeed.”
Krol mentioned she clicked straight away with this system from the primary time she communicated with Steger and the crew, saying that she “couldn’t say no” after the success of her preliminary trial with the crew.
“I didn’t hear about West Virginia in any respect till I talked to Josh for the primary time,” she mentioned. “We met via somebody he was speaking with on the time and he advised me that he had been trying to recruit a feminine roster and that I used to be one of many first gamers he was excited about. He invited me for tryouts and we realized it was the appropriate match in a short time. We sort of simply knew that this was the place we have been meant to be proper now.”
Roberts is a freshman from Los Angeles, California who joined WVU Esports together with Emma in August of 2023. She is a prison justice main.
“It’s cool to be part of historical past right here,” Roberts mentioned. “I hope we are able to encourage different females to pursue esports at the next degree.”
O’Connor is a junior advertising and marketing pupil from Norcross, Georgia. She joined WVU Lotus after taking part in professionally for Gen.G Esports since September 2022.
WVU Lotus is competing this fall within the NACE Star League on-line, which is a nationwide league for collegiate Rocket League groups.