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Colwill receives $10k from Gen.G Foundation

September 8, 2022

DSU freshman esports athlete Kaya Colwill is one of 10 people in the nation awarded a $10,000 scholarship from Gen.G Foundation.

Gen.G is a global esports organization with professional teams. According to their website, the Gen.G Foundation’s “mission is to develop talented young gamers who can lead the industry’s next generation.” In that future, they “envision a community that promotes inclusion and diversity while encouraging academic excellence.”

Colwill, a computer game design major from Sioux Falls, will be playing VALORANT, Smash Ultimate, and in FGC, the Fighting Game Community, playing fighting games like Guilty Gear Strive.

Her love of video games developed early. When she was a young child, she went to a friend’s house, and became completely engrossed in playing Skylanders Giants.

“I was there for like the entire day, and my parents panicked and almost called the cops,” Colwill recalled. “Ever since then, I have just loved playing video games.”

. Over the past few years, she’s become more involved in competitive esports and developed an interest in the creation of games. That interest in playing and making games led her to apply for the scholarship.

“They were looking for people they could invest in that would impact the gaming industry as a whole,” she explained. “And with my prospective involvement in creating games and potentially playing, they decided to select me for the scholarship.”

By playing games on smaller platforms, Colwill has taken the opportunity to create design documents, and has also studied mechanics design, and balance design.

At DSU, she is excited to learn the variety of skills that go into game design, such as programming, art, and sound.

Colwill enjoyed joining the esports program for the weeklong bootcamp leading up to the start of school and appreciated the welcoming environment.

“I think that was probably some of the most fun I’ve had in my life,” she said.

“Pretty much all the people there were welcoming, accepting, and happy to introduce me to things and get me acclimated. I want to be able to do the same thing for other new players.”

In addition to the financial support of the scholarship, Colwill will also receive resources and connections in the professional industry.

“I feel like I’m accomplishing things, and this is something I did myself,” she said. “These connections I’m making are important and might help me in my future.”

Head Esports Coach Andy Roland is proud to have a DSU Esports athlete recognized by a professional esports organization. He is thankful and excited to see Colwill’s hard work rewarded, noting that he can’t take any credit for her success.

“I’m just glad our University has a place for Colwill to find her community,” he said.  

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