The Charger Blog

‘I Am Thrilled with Everything About the University’

After moving recently from California to West Haven to pursue my master’s degree in esports business at the University of New Haven, I am enjoying everything about my experience at the University, particularly the opportunity to mentor students as an assistant coach of the University’s varsity Valorant esports team.

March 23, 2021

By David Pendleton ’22 M.S.

David Pendleton coaching.
Coaching gamers is one of David Pendleton’s passions.

In October of 2020 two important things happened within 10 days of each other: I lost my job and my relationship of two years. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise because I was already unhappy with my living situation and my work life. For the rest of October, I took time to myself to reflect on what I enjoyed the most in my life: videogames and esports.

David Pendelton with R2D2 at comic con.
David Pendleton at Heart at the San Jose Valley Comic Con circa 2018.

After scouring LinkedIn for jobs, I came across Prof. Jason Chung’s profile, and I found an article he posted about esports. I spent hours on Google looking at various degrees (master’s and bachelor’s) pertaining to esports. My search brought me back to Jason’s one-of-a-kind online Master of Science in Esports Business from the University of New Haven.

Prof. Chung and I set up a time to speak, and I told him more about myself and what I was looking to achieve: a job in the world of esports. He introduced me to another individual by the name of Corey Parks, a professional gamer who is head coach and director of the University’s varsity esports team.

Coach Parks and I share the same drive and passion for competition and esports, and we both come from similar backgrounds that involve the game of Counter-Strike. It was only natural that our conversation led me to making the appropriate moves towards my next journey: pursuing esports full time. He offered me an assistant coaching position for the varsity Valorant team if I was willing to commit to helping the team in person.

David Pendleton in the snow.
David Pendleton basking in the winter wonderland on the New Haven green.
‘Everything has been genuine and remarkable’

My ultimate decision to move to Connecticut came with great deliberation. I spent a week speaking with close friends and family about a possible move. I told them about the master’s program and coaching opportunity and there was unanimous support from them for me to pursue it. I pulled the trigger.

Presently, almost three months into the program and my coaching experience, I am thrilled with everything about the University and the choices I have made thus far. From the staff to the campus to the people I have met, everything has been genuine and remarkable.

I took a leap of faith in coming to Connecticut. This move helped me grow in more ways than one and has truly matured me as a person. Every day I wake up looking forward to what Professor Chung will be teaching us or how I can help my students develop into better players in Valorant under the guidance of Coach Parks.

David Pendleton ’22 M.S. is one of the first candidates in the University’s new graduate program in Esports Business. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from California State University, East Bay.