By Carrie Shimek, UM Information Service

Missoula – All these dad and mom scold their youngsters for enjoying too many video video games as a result of “that will not get you wherever” Jimmy Painter should not discuss.

The Missoula School scholar will graduate from the College of Montana on Might 14 with a level in info expertise. He would by no means have discovered his profession path and not using a wholesome dose of video video games and turning into a founding member of the Grizz esports crew, to listen to Painter say.

“I used esports to assist pay for school,” he stated. “Most of us on the crew get scholarships via esports. We’ll log into CyberBear (UM’s on-line scholar companies portal) and get a number of thousand greenback scholarships, which actually helps. I’ve gotten it a few instances, and it is only for being in groups. ,

Painter managed to discover a successful approach for himself at UM—he already has a job after commencement—but it surely did not occur instantly.

“I had points the place I had problem determining what I wished to do with my life and to what diploma could be the very best match for me,” he stated. “I simply discovered it laborious to grasp.”

His story started in his hometown of Toledo, Washington, the place the devoted gamer already managed his personal Minecraft server by the age of 14. Over time he prolonged his pixel violence with shooters like Counter-Strike and Overwatch, after which he found UM whereas visiting one. buddies on campus. He quickly fell in love with the world.

A yr later he was a pc science scholar on the Central UM campus. He cherished programming, however deep math wasn’t his favourite, so he turned to Media Arts. In that division he met Michael Cassens, an assistant professor, making ready to launch UM’s new Grizz esports program.

“I began going to their orientation occasions, and I went on the Overwatch crew,” Painter stated. “The next yr I took over as crew captain, and I’ve finished so over the previous two years.”

Painter typically makes use of “Lodman” as a gamertag for his on-line online game personas.

For individuals who do not know, Overwatch is a first-person shooter the place two groups of six compete, preventing over payloads, key factors on the map, or who would be the closing avatar standing. He often performs as Reinhardt – an armored dude with an enormous hammer – or Cassidy – a cowboy with a lethal revolver. Painter is a Platinum participant, so he isn’t one to fiddle on-line.

“I used to be delighted to have Jimmy on our crew each as a scholar and as a participant,” Cassens stated. “He has at all times been hardworking and devoted to his lecturers, main our Overwatch crew with unimaginable grace. He actually embodies our UM esports beliefs no matter everybody’s background, and he has revered all of his teammates.” Gained respect as he uplifted everybody’s energy via his management.”

Painter started working as a scholar tech for the UM Division of Info Expertise. He loved serving to professors and employees members repair their e-mail or reset forgotten passwords. He additionally commissioned IT work for his esports crew to assist handle and preserve the crew’s machines within the gaming den on the College Middle, the place crew members meet to observe, compete, and hang around. Actually, certainly one of his proudest UM achievements was main a undertaking that overhauled his highly effective gaming computer systems so that every one software program was routinely up to date to a system that was utterly locked down and wanted to run Home windows. shouldn’t be wanted.

“I lastly bought a sense that I can do IT as a full-time profession,” he stated.

However UM didn’t have a devoted IT main as a part of the primary campus. For that, they’d have to go to Missoula School, the two-year college throughout the river. It was a turning level that he is not going to remorse.

“It has been a beautiful programme. “They’re nice professors who know what they’re doing. Vic Valzenti over there teaches like half the courses. The networking courses are superb. I’ve realized rather a lot.

“The good factor is that I take these courses and get all that info, after which I can take it straight away and apply it to my job and work at UM IT,” Painter stated. “And all the things I study at UM IT helps me in my courses.”

In his IT job, he started to love tackling large issues – like the times it took to carry dying college computer systems again from the brink. “I’ve finished three totally different hard-drive corruption issues over the previous few months,” he proudly stated, including that the division has skilled him to be a full-time techniques analyst for campus.

Actually, that is the job he would do instantly after commencement. And staying at UM means it has to proceed to assist the Grizz esports program flourish.

“If you wish to do stuff with gaming and esports, that is positively the place to be,” Painter stated. “There are such a lot of totally different alternatives for our college students, and you will get scholarships for esports similar to a daily student-athlete. And in some collegiate tournaments, there are $90,000 grand prizes that generally go to scholarships divided amongst crew members. ,

The Grizz Esports Rocket League crew lately traveled to the Nationals in Virginia on the School of William and Mary. (Rocket League? It is mainly arcade-style crew soccer with automobiles and explosions.) The red-hot UM crew made it to the final 4 within the nation, however ultimately crashed in opposition to a troublesome College of Delaware Blue Hens crew. And bought burnt.

Painter stated Griez Esports has tripled in measurement since its inception, with elevated range and better feminine illustration than most universities. The crew additionally raises hundreds for charitable causes. A latest digital-video livestream raised greater than $5,000 for a youngsters’s hospital in Helena in 24 hours.

“We use expertise that makes it simple to donate,” he stated. “There is a ticker that is always up to date so we will see how nicely we’re doing. We have been in a position to assist a variety of nice causes.”

Painter is happy to step up the extent and start his subsequent chapter at UM beginning on Might 14.

“If you’re supplied an excellent place at a spot you like to work, you would possibly as nicely take it.”


contact: Dave Kuntz, UM director of strategic communications, 406-243-5659,

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