Hello, everyone! I’m Felicia Sparozic, but you probably know me as Fellybishh. I’m a doctoral candidate conducting research on the Bioarchaeology of Care at the University of Montana. My research is an extension of my master’s thesis, where I tested the Index of Care (a Bioarchaeology method) using historical and modern individuals from the Smithsonian’s Terry Collection. I’ve developed specific methods for both historical and modern cases (modern defined as 1950 to today). This method aims to model how individuals were cared for using human skeletal remains, contributing to the documentation of disability and caregiving in archaeological records.
In March 2018, I started streaming from my Xbox as a way to aid my recovery from a traumatic brain injury. The recommended vision therapy was either too childish or too dull, so I found a way to make it engaging. Streaming and gaming helped me work on cognitive skills, and having chat’s support made the journey enjoyable. Chat stood by me throughout my journey from applying to graduate school to completing my PhD.
After completing my masters someone in the cohort told me about the University’s esports team. I reached out to the team members and coach. When I found out about the Apex legends team, I tried out and was able to become varsity team captain of the Apex Legends Maroon team. There were two teams maroon and silver. We played in the collegiate apex league called the Spark Series. Playing in the league taught me many skills that are applicable even outside of gaming
Entering the world of college esports and gaming was initially overwhelming. Learning gaming terminology and mastering the specific game, emphasizing clear and concise communication for successful comms, and developing skills applicable outside gaming were part of the learning process. Balancing my PhD studies with esports as a graduate student alongside undergraduate teammates presented unique challenges.
As a varsity player, maintaining a specific GPA and dedicating 20 weekly hours to the game were expected. My schedule included PhD classes, research, practice, editing clips for social media, and more research. Striking a balance between academics and esports demanded hard work. Playing esports at the varsity level is an intense experience. Here’s some advice for those considering college esports and esports in general:
There are so many more amazing tid bits of advice I’ve learned along the way through the power of networking. Be sure to use all the tools out there including LinkedIn for networking and advancing your career after college! The varsity experience can be difficult in many different ways but having the right mindset is the key to success in the face of adversity. It’s also important to learn to give yourself the space to grow to make the most of the opportunities presented to you! I really hope you gained some insight and you got some tidbit of information that you can use as we head into the new semester. If you’d like to hear more about my experiences let me know in the comments.