Eric Aaberg

[email protected]

Head of Esports, UT Dallas

I’ve served as the Student Director of Esports at The University of Texas at Dallas – the Esports & Gaming Department a part of the university. This semester, our full-time director & coach departed from the university for a super awesome gig at Riot Games, and in response, I was promoted as our interim Head of Esports – jumping into a new leadership running the entire department.

This page is a sub-page of my 2021 Year Review collection.

Driving Esports Department Success

Fall 2021 was an interesting semester for all of us across the states, as many universities were in the same boat of figuring out how to “return back to normal”. For UT Dallas, we started off hybrid and a month or two in resumed all normal face-to-face events & in-person classes.

For our Esports Department, it was the first time we were back in our practice room since March 2020 (over 18 months). It was a huge adjustment to start practicing back in person, in addition to transitioning leadership of the department. However, even with a student in charge of our department (leading our 30 student staff, 50 student-athletes, and 80 content creators), we still managed to have a fantastic semester competitively.

Published vlog from our Esports Tailgate in partnership with BragHouse. Over 1,500+ students in attendance, making it the largest ever attended UTD tailgate to date.

Competition, Content, Community, and Culture

Taking in charge of the department, I made sure we focused on our 4 C’s: Competition, Content, Community, and Culture.

  • Competition: A huge thanks to our Student Team Managers & Coaches for keeping team morale & skill level up, we had a great semester for our athletes.
  • Content: This semester was our best semester yet for content. I (for the first time in a while) wasn’t actually the one tweeting from the Twitter account, and we even grew out a full-force social & content team for the Esports Department. In addition, we produced 4 high production level videos for each varsity esports team roster announcement and a vlog for our tailgate event. (Thanks Hector & Team!)
  • Community: Your varsity esports teams are just PART of what makes collegiate esports, collegiate esports – we take pride in our community. Our Student Head of Events & Events Team executed numerous activations during the semester, and we even were able to bring on another paid student staff position: our Assistant Head of Events. Thanks to them, our community grew & fostered the hype behind our program to returning & first-year students.
    • Our Minecraft Team (sub-team of our Events Team) also helped launch our 2.0 Update for UT Dallas Minecraft – the official Minecraft Server for The University of Texas at Dallas. WATCH THE UPDATE TRAILER!
    • In addition, our Content Creator Program thrived with the return of in-person meetings, workshops, and socials – and has gone under new leadership with our new student Content Creator Program Lead.
  • Culture: We partnered with numerous organizations, groups, and departments on campus for activations – and have started the planning for our “Women in Gaming” game night, soon to come next semester. We created our campaign called “Gaming is for everyone” and are promoting a new message for our digital & print marketing collaterals on campus, encouraging anyone and everyone to feel included in the bigger gaming community at UTD.