Central Community College athletics is entering the rapidly growing esports arena as the Raiders will field a team beginning in the fall 2022 semester. Unlike CCC’s other sports which are located on the Columbus Campus, the esports team will be open to all students at each CCC location.

Established as an officially sanctioned sport by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) in fall 2019, NJCAA Esports has grown from 12 original members to 81. According to the NJCAA, the 81 member institutions are comprised of more than 600 specific teams, more than 150 coaches and administrators, and more than 1,500 student-athletes nationwide. The NJCAA provides two-year college esports teams with governance, competition, and official national championships.

Appointed as the head coach of the Raiders' inaugural esports team is Lucas Lumbra, who comes to CCC from Ohio State Esports where he served as an analyst and manager of the Premier Overwatch team. Lumbra guided Premier Overwatch to national rankings and top 16 finishes in both 2019 and 2021. In 2018, he founded Buckeye Gaming Collective, a student organization at The Ohio State University (OSU) that provides recreational video gaming and entertainment activities to both students and community members.

“I'm very excited to join the CCC community and get started providing opportunities for students to compete online and in-person at a multitude of esports titles,” said Lumbra. “I am very confident CCC is in a great position to compete at a high level within the NJCAA competitive leagues as the esports program progresses.”

A December 2021 OSU graduate, Lumbra earned a degree in new media and communication technology with a focus on game studies and esports.

“It’s an exciting time at Central Community College with the addition of esports to our athletic offerings and we welcome Coach Lumbra to Central to lead our new esports program,” said Mary Young, CCC athletics director. “As with all our athletic teams, CCC provides a tremendous foundation for academic and personal growth. Coach Lumbra certainly has the ability to build on that foundation and give our student-athletes an experience they will savor for the rest of their lives and ultimately put us in position to compete for championships.”  

Lumbra will begin his CCC tenure on April 25.

“We are thrilled to add esports as another opportunity to engage students – both men and women – from across our 25-county service area, said CCC-Columbus President Dr. Kathy Fuchser. “We are confident Coach Lumbra’s experience will lead us to great success.”