Daniel Murphy ’24 Embarks on a Meteorology and Esports Path at Valpo

While the meteorology program at Valparaiso University attracted Daniel Murphy ’24 to an Admitted Student Day, it was the campus feel and Esports program that made Valpo the perfect fit. Originally from Livonia, Michigan, Daniel committed to play Esports at Valpo beginning in fall 2020. 

“I chose Valpo because it has one of the best meteorology programs in the country, and I love the campus, the way it felt like a home away from home the minute I walked around it,” Daniel says. 

Before his Admitted Student Day, Daniel was interested in Valpo Esports and had expressed interest to Tristan Leonhard, Director of Recreational Sports. When he saw the Esports lab, there was an instant connection.

“The Esports recruiting process was very simple,” Daniel says. “There were a few emails exchanged between Tristan and me. Then when I came to campus for an Admitted Student Day, I met with him in person and saw the lab. When I talked with him, he explained what the team and the setup were like, which made me super interested. At the end of the conversation, he offered me a spot on the team.” 

By participating in both meteorology and Esports at Valpo, Daniel will be exposed to many opportunities on and off campus. Additionally, he has found overlaps and benefits between the two. 

“The overlap between meteorology and Esports is with gaming,” Daniel says. “In Esports, you have to look at every option available and notice every little movement that your opponent makes, which may help when forecasting using the radar and other tools. I am looking to make lots of connections in my major, both with students and possible internship opportunities.”

His passion for gaming began when he was a kid who liked computers. This interest gradually turned into playing computer games, and as he got older, he was able to get involved in different types of games and play competitively. 

“My favorite game to compete in is Rocket League, with Destiny 2 as my second favorite,” Daniel says. “Rocket League is such a dynamic game due to the many styles of play there are and you can always better yourself in that game. I like Destiny 2 for almost the same reasons I like Rocket League, but in it you can do so many different things, which makes it very hard to get bored with the game.”

He sees the opportunity to continue gaming at the collegiate level as a way to be able to compete for more than just casually with his friends, especially as gaming continues to grow in popularity. 

“The future of gaming is going to be more immersive and have more detail with better competitions,” Daniel says. “I would like to see collegiate gaming gain enough popularity to possibly be televised, and just be a talking point. With where it is right now, most people don’t even know about collegiate gaming. I would love to help Esports gain more popularity at Valpo by telling people to watch the streams. I feel like if we could get more people involved with Esports, it will grow in popularity.”

Between meteorology and Esports, Daniel is beginning an adventure at Valpo that will end with him pursuing his dream career. 

“I am hoping to earn my degree as well as make amazing memories at Valpo and get involved with events and activities around campus,” Daniel says. “My dream career after college is to be a severe weather forecaster for a company like AccuWeather.”