Coach Raven White leads team to digital victory

By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Navarro College’s eSports team has been pulling in the wins this year.

Under the guidance of Coach Raven White, the team has racked up up a number of wins against competing schools such as from University of Texas, Texas Tech, the University of Akron, and more recently, Colorado University and Oklahoma State.

Their competitive game of choice? Call of Duty. The first-person shoot franchise published by Activision has remained a popular staple amongst competitive gamers. In addition to their headlining tournament game, White’s team regularly competes with such titles as Valorant, Madden NFL, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

For Coach White and his team, however, the fun comes not from playing, but from winning tournaments.

A good eSports player requires a variety of skills in order to remain competitive. A combination of ambition, experience, a good attitude, and an understanding of their own play styles. During regular practice, the digital athletes develop their skills a minimum of four days a week for eight hours a day, and practice an average of 40 hours a week outside of the scheduled training environment.

White also has his players watch videos of their previous play sessions to better understand their strengths and weaknesses.

“All the best players watch their own mistakes,” said White. “The more you play, the easier it is to see your own mistakes.”

When away from the keyboard or controller, one of the most important aspects of their athletic training is keeping their grades up. A skilled competitor can get a full scholarship from other universities once they graduate from Navarro. Some players even get the opportunities to coach their own teams, or win cash prizes and trophies in tournaments.

For White, eSports is a business, and his team is an investment. The coach remains hands-on for his athletes during both training and competitions, finding the best combination of skill and dedication for tournament play. In the sport’s competitive environment where new players are always wanting to take a current player’s spot, Navarro’s eSports coach consistently works to keep his professional gamer’s play mechanics and motivation up.

“If you can get two semi-pro kids on a four man team, it takes your program to the next level,” said White. “It really does.”

White is already looking to the next semester’s tournaments where he will apply this year’s victories against a whole new bracket of college players around the East Texas division.

As far as the “fun” aspect goes, White is saving that aspect for their end of season wins.

“We’re building a different culture here,” said White.

Interested spectators can follow Navarro College’s eSports league on their Navarro College eSports official Twitch streaming channel, and check for recent wins and match scores on the NC eSports Twitter account. For eSports athletes interested in joining or transferring to Navarro College’s spring or fall 2021 team, players can sign up here.

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