Ashland University esports head coach Josh Buchanan announced Friday (July 13) the addition of Travis Yang to the coaching staff.
Yang is currently the co-owner and general manager of the Sloth E-Sports Club, overseeing the operations for the club, including player recruitment and coaching.
"Travis has an unprecedented ability to form relationships with people and help them believe in themselves," said Buchanan. "This has been instrumental in his success as a professional team owner and in the success of the players he has worked with throughout the years."
"I'm excited to work with Josh in this new and challenging field that is collegiate esports," Yang said. "Ashland has a great athletics department with a history of winning and I'm looking forward to contributing my skills and experiences towards the program."
Yang is a 2018 graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia where he earned his bachelor of science degree in parks, recreation and tourism with an emphasis in sport management.
Before his connection with Sloth, Yang was the founder and CEO of Team Ascension LLC, gaining financial sponsorships, overseeing player management and building relationships with esport businesses and organizations to maximize growth.
"I've had the pleasure of watching Travis grow as a player, coach, team owner and person during our careers in professional esports," Buchanan said. "I am looking forward to continuing working with him in the sprouting collegiate esports scene."
As a player, Yang placed second at the Wichita eSports Convention 2017 $1K Midwest Overwatch Tournament. He ranks in the top one percent of the Hearthstone ladder, top two percent of the StarCraft 2 ladder and ranks 80th in USA StarCraft 2. He is in the top three percent on the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ladder.
"Prior to working in the collegiate environment I spent the past eight years leading Sloth E-Sports Club, a professional StarCraft 2 team," Yang said. "Many of those years were spent working with Josh across a variety of areas including recruitment, management and player coordination. It has been a great experience contributing to the development of esports in North America and seeing the scene as whole continuing to grow."
The Ashland esports program will compete in multiple titles, including CS:GO, Overwatch, League of Legends, Fortnite, Rocket League and Hearthstone. The 2018-19 school year will be the first year of competition for the program, which was announced Feb. 1.