A Growing Esports Workforce

esports competition team

The esports field is perfect for anyone interested in event management, communications, gameplay, coaching, exercise science, or being part of a field that promises to grow more prominent and engaging with every passing year. For example, from 2018 to 2019, paid esports positions increased by over 110%.


As noted on CNBC by Peter Guber, a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Dodgers and the professional esports organization Team Liquid, being able to fill a particular place isn’t necessary for esports.

You'll see that it's everywhere, and it isn't bound by geography. You don't use a stick or a bat to play, and you can play alone or with a whole group of people, play against the best."

Peter Guber | Co-owner of Team Liquid

esports competition team
esports competition team

A new world has arrived, right at your fingertips.

We’re ready to pick up the controller and play.

Are You?


Zander Merle-Smith

Zander Merle-Smith received his Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Tech and MBA with a focus in Esports Management from Shenandoah University. He has plans to continue his education with an EdD in the future.

His previous experience as broadcast production lead, esports commentator, and event operations has given him the background knowledge to prepare the next generation for the esports industry.

Merle-Smith has performed as on-camera talent for high school, collegiate, and professional esports events

Zander Merle-Smith
Alyssa Duran


Alyssa Duran

Alyssa studied at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA where she was involved with the university’s varsity esports program. Her experience as an esports competitor and coach led her to her former position at Shenandoah University as Coordinator of Esports Competition. Now, Alyssa leads the program as the Interim Esports Director and assists with teaching various esports courses.
Additionally, Alyssa sits on the Competition Council for the National Association of Collegiate Esports. She has been recognized for her work as an advocate for collegiate esports through receiving NAIA Champions of Character (2021) and Outstanding Leader of the Year (2020) awards.


Fernando Preciado-Leal

Fernando’s experience playing on professional teams, collegiate teams, and coaching at multiple universities prepares him well for the position of Coordinator of Competition. As the Coordinator of Esports Competition he oversees the competitive esports teams and the development of the coaches for the varsity program. His background in private security tactics help him elevate student communication and in-game decision making.


Ian Burnett

Current student in the esports program studying Esports Management as well as Esports Media and Communications, graduating May 2024. Competed for Shenandoah’s Rocket League, Call of Duty, Valorant, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive teams between Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. Currently one of the coaches of the Rocket League team. Served as an SEP under the esports program since 2022 focusing on Broadcast Production and Content Creation initiatives. Accepted the role of Student Esports Production Coordinator in January 2024.