Meet Carter Grimm and Learn More about The Esports Program at the Oscar Lasko YMCA
With more than 240 million recreational viewers and players and millions of dollars in prize money on the line, esports is clearly becoming a big player in the professional sports landscape – but only one in four Americans have heard of or are interested in playing esports.
So we asked Carter Grimm, who leads the esports program at our Oscar Lasko YMCA, how he got started in esports and why parents should consider an esports program for their child – or themselves.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was raised in York, PA and started my career working in nonprofit with internships at Family First Health and United Way of York County. My family is heavily involved in the York community and works in the nonprofit sector. In the Spring of 2022, I graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s in Media and Culture Studies and a minor in Digital Media Marketing. I am on an accelerated track to finish my master's degree in Media and Communication Studies from West Chester in the Spring of 2023.
I hold other part-time positions as the esports coach at Immaculata University, a content marketing blogger at Marketing Insider Group, and as a graduate assistant at WCU. I love music, art, video games, and lifting!
What got you into esports?
Our family was fortunate enough to have a gaming console in the house for as long as I can remember. During the pandemic, I took my love of Overwatch and found out there were tons of leagues set up to emulate professional play. It was there that I discovered my love of coaching others and being a part of a team.
What would you say to parents not sure why they should enroll their children in an esports program?
Our program highlights the importance of teamwork and respect in competition and cooperation. We are providing your child with a fun time in a safe setting, but more importantly, we are providing them with lessons and teachings that will make them better communicators and team players in the real world.
There are many graduate-level studies that suggest cooperation in video games may reduce negativity in the real world and increase cooperative nature in players. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have!
What do you think the future of esports will bring?
Korea has done a great job of giving us a glimpse into the future of esports. Internationally, we have already seen sporting arenas sell out for big esports tournaments and events. Objectively, the scene has only grown in the last decade with gaming becoming more widely accessible to people from all walks of life.
For me, esports brings us an opportunity to combine my two favorite things, video games and regulated competition. Truly, the best is yet to come.
What do you think the biggest benefit is of participating in esports?
The ability to compete is a right everyone should have regardless of gender, religion, ethnicity or creed. Esports provide an opportunity for anyone and everyone to pick up a controller or a mouse and take part in games of skill and chance to be the best.
I believe team-based esports provide a sense of comradery and self-worth that is crucial to anyone’s development as a person, creating healthy relationships and cooperative skills necessary to excel in the real world.