MOORHEAD – In the Park Region dorms on Concordia College’s campus, you’ll find Lucas Campaverde playing video games.
The 24-year-old is not a student, but a coach, Campo.
He is in charge of the college’s new esports program.
“I can’t imagine anything else I’d want to do,” he said.
For Campaverde, video games have been a big part of his life since he was a kid, playing video games with his father.
They have become a big part of his life in the past year.
“It was a trip,” he said.
Two years ago this week, Campoverde was shot multiple times, including in the chest, while serving a warrant in Grafton.
He was almost killed.
Campovede suffered permanent nerve damage to his hand, medically disqualifying him from being a police officer, forcing him to give up his beloved profession.
“That was my career and it was literally taken away from me in seconds,” Campoverde said.
After the shooting, Campoverde was incapacitated for months. His only outlet for interaction, online video games with his brothers and friends across the country.
“I had some serious nerve damage, but I was able to do anal and play with different fingers with them, and that was huge. I was sitting at home all day,” he said.
Once back on his feet, Campaverde realized he might need that social outlet in life for others, especially in rural Walsh County. He started an esports program at Grafton High School.
He also worked for an esports coordinator in Grand Forks as a coach.
“We’re not just playing games, we’re discussing, we’re working to make our team better, we’re building team values, we’re communicating, we’re having that social network, that’s big for people who can’t,” Campaverde explained.
Now this ex-cop is trading in his badge for an unexpected career as a coach.
“I know I made a difference there, but I think I can touch more students here with my story and my leadership,” Campoverde said.
The esports varsity program will officially begin in January.
Campaverde said he wants to be a coach for everyone on campus, not just people who play video games.
It hopes to be a safe place for counseling or discussion for people going through trauma.