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News Release

Aug. 31, 2021

Bennett becomes Northwest’s first esports director

Paul Bennett

Paul Bennett

As interest in competitive gaming grows and Northwest Missouri State University’s Esports Club gains momentum, the University recently named its first esports director.

Paul Bennett, who also works at Northwest as a coordinator for leadership and development in the Office of Residential Life, will lead esports programming at the University with the goal of providing a conducive environment for all students interested in learning and competing in the field of online gaming.

“The best part of esports at Northwest is seeing the connections being made between students,” Bennett said. “Giving students a space to connect with others that share their interests, while also teaching skills like communication, teamwork, dedication and leadership is extremely rewarding. These are life skills that help them in and outside of the competitive field.”

Previously, Bennett was the Esports Club’s advisor and spearheaded the creation of the club. Since 2018 he has organized an annual charity gaming event to raise funds for Northwest’s Pay It Forward Fund.

Bennett joined Northwest’s staff in 2015. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. During the fall semester, he teaches the University’s esports recreation class.

Last fall Northwest opened an esports room on the third floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union as the Esports Club has rapidly grown from playing non-competitively to winning matches against other universities. The club is operated for students by students and offers opportunities for all students, from beginners to advanced players. Club members play games such as “Call of Duty,” “Smash,” “League of Legends” and “Rainbow Six Siege.” Any Northwest student may visit the esports room play any game.

Additionally, students may apply for scholarship opportunities. To be eligible a student must be a full-time student enrolled in 12 or more academic credit hours, earn a 2.5 cumulative GPA and live on campus during their first year.

For more information about esports at Northwest, contact or visit


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215