Kealan McCutcheon joins the Independence community from Rochester Hills, Michigan, to serve as the Director and Head Coach for the Pirate Esports program. Proximity to family and community size brought the Semi-Professional Esports player to southeast Kansas.
“I have a place in my heart for small towns since I grew up in one,” explains McCutcheon. “I cherish the close-knitted feeling that a community like Independence has. That feeling you get when you walk into a coffee shop, and they are already making your drink just how you like it.”
Before moving to Independence, McCutcheon competed semiprofessionally for four years. He ranked in the top 1% of participants in elite team competitions across various paid leagues and tournaments. He also served as an individual coach, helping players improve their rankings and advance professionally in an esports career.
“Esports is growing faster every year. The scene’s revenue has surpassed $1 billion,” said McCutcheon. “Esports is still relatively young, especially at the collegiate and high school levels. The possible careers are almost endless and worth diving into if someone is passionate about Esports.”
The Esports Arena at ICC houses 21 gaming stations for students, three public flatscreens for gaming, and a driving/flight simulator. Students can compete, live stream/broadcast tournaments, and handle motion graphics. The college also offers specific classes allowing students to continue their degree at a four-year college.
“Esports has developed massively in revenue and viewership, as it is a huge form of entertainment. It entertains both the player and the fans/supporters,” explains McCutcheon. “At the collegiate level, it has grown from only a handful of colleges to hundreds over the past few years. It is trickling down to high schools as well. We will see more and more high schools with Esport clubs and other Esport activities. This massive growth is great because of the new doors it has opened for careers, professional competition, and education.”
The 2021-2022 Esports Team brought home a National Title from the NACE Starleague Grand Finals. McCutcheon plans to continue the success into the 2022-2023 season.
“I have an opportunity to create a lasting impact on many students’ lives and teach them a variety of skills I have developed in Esports,” concluded McCutcheon. “Being able to help students pursue their dreams and motivate them to succeed is wonderful and something I’m glad I can do daily here as the Director of Esports.”