Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Ricky Reed: SEMO’s first esports coordinator

Monday, March 21, 2022
Ricky Reed poses for a photo.
Photo submitted by Zach Healy

Esports is quickly growing around the world and here on SEMO’s campus. With its growth to the second-largest club on campus — second only to Greek Life — the club needed a coordinator.

Current esports coordinator Ricky Reed filled that spot. Reed makes sure all of the competitive teams for the seven different titles that the club competes in are squared away and ready to go for each week. He also works with budgeting and getting equipment that is need for the arena

Reed’s love for video games started when he was young.

“I had an original Nintendo, then went to Super Nintendo and then the Nintendo 64, so always as a kid, I started playing video games at a super young age,” Reed said.

His love for esports came from games like Halo and World of Warcraft. League of Legends also had a big impact on him.

“I started playing that, and that esport took off,” Reed said. “That's kind of where my passion went. I got to diamond in League of Legends and never looked back since.”

His passion for not only video games, but also esports, has made him a perfect fit for the position. Esports club President Corey Johnson felt like he was a natural fit for the role. Reed’s gaming background helps the members connect with him.

Reed also has a background in communication, which has not only helped him complete tasks in his role, but also helped students get their ideas and needs across to higher administration.

“I’m kind of like a middleman, if you think about it in a way, to a lot of different things,” Reed said. “Whether that's getting budgeting, funding, more space, whatever we need for the club. I can be that liaison to the board or the directors for the students. I’m an advocate, so I think the communications played a really big part in helping make sure that there is no miscommunication, as well as making sure we're on the same page.”

Johnson and Halo Infinite GM Spencer Hansberry were extremely happy Reed was able to get supervision for the arena.

“One thing that he did really well is, he really pushed for supervisors for the arena,” Hansberry said. “That was a big thing that we were able to manage, but it seemed like it was only a temporary gig. Next thing we know, Ricky comes in, and he's able to get a permanent supervision position for the arena.”

Reed’s vision for the immediate future is to obtain more space. The club’s current area on the main floor of the Towers Complex contains only 12 ASUS gaming computers and five console gaming areas. Those consoles consist of one Xbox One, one Xbox Series X, two Nintendo Switches and a PlayStation 4 Pro.

The club currently sits at more than 600 members and continues to grow. This causes them to not have enough room for competitive players, scheduled practice times and casual players. Down the road, Reed hopes to be able to get scholarships for some of the club's members. Many schools that take esports seriously have scholarships or funds that they put into the program.

“That definitely helps out, because that also brings an initiative for players. One to play more and take it seriously, get higher ranks, but also bring students to school, as well,” Reed said. “So going forward, obviously scholarships are a big part for me, that I find important and that I would like to get done.”

You can follow along with the Esports Club on Twitch, where they stream weekly at twitch.tv/semoesports.

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