Newswise — Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has one of the best sports teams in the country, and now they’re getting some cinematic love. 

 The Harrisburg Storm is the subject of a new 30-minute documentary streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play.

 “A Rising Storm: The Burgeoning World of College Esports” goes in-depth on the creation of the team, following them as they move up the ranks to become national champions two years in a row -- the Harrisburg Storm won the ESPN National Overwatch Championships in 2019 and 2020. Cowboy Bear Ninja, a Harrisburg-based production company, made the movie, which was the creation of both Harrisburg University and Pavone Group. 

“This documentary captures the grit, teamwork, and character it takes to field a national championship esports team,” said Chad Smeltz, HU Director of Esports. “Everyone involved in the team’s growth knows how hard we’ve worked to build an amazing culture, and we’re thrilled the rest of the world will get to witness that now too.”

“A Rising Storm” has been recognized at several film festivals, including PopCon International in Indianapolis, Seoul Webfest in South Korea and India’s Pune Short Film Festival.

“We’re proud of the chance to not only shine a light on the incredible efforts of the players, coaches, and staff but also bring international attention to Harrisburg,” said Dr. Eric Darr, president of Harrisburg University. “This is truly a special moment in the team’s history and the history of Harrisburg University.”

Harrisburg University’s Esports Program is the university’s first and only varsity sport. The varsity team competes in some of the most popular esports games around the world, including League of Legends and Overwatch. Team members practice and contend in a state-of-the-art facility and receive full scholarships. HU’s Overwatch players are back-to-back Collegiate National Champions, and the HU Storm was named the 2019 Tempest Award Winner for Best Collegiate Esports Program. 

The University is one of only a handful in the nation to offer an undergraduate degree in esports.  HU offers a major in Esports Management, Production and Performance.  Additionally, Harrisburg University hosts the largest collegiate esports competition in North America, the HUE Invitational, where more than 64 teams compete in collegiate sports competitions in Overwatch and League of Legends.