Barton College runs deep through the Thompson family. Gardner Thompson the son of alumni and former professor Nancy Thompson, is currently in his third year at Barton and actively involved around campus. The President of Alpha Sigma Phi and member of the League of Legends team are some just to name.

Not only is Gardner familiar with Barton College, he is also not a stranger to Wilson, North Carolina. Growing up in Cary, North Carolina for majority of his life, he was very accustom to the suburbs of Raleigh. However, for his middle school years, Thompson lived in Wilson while his mom attended Barton and earned her Bachelors in Nursing in 2012 and later her Masters in 2015.

Originally wanting to pursue a career in computer programming, Gardner had to move on from that dream because he had his eyes set on attending Barton and they do not offer the major. He then decided to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a lawyer. He is currently working on a Business Law major with a minor in Political Science. After graduation, Thompson has plans to apply to UNC law school and practice Malpractice law.

As for Esports, Gardner has been with the program from the beginning by joining the team via a walk-on spot. The current junior has been participating in Esports since his early high school days at Panther Creek High School, where he competed in Team Fortress 2 and Counterstrike. Thompson explained how much it means to be apart of a competitive team and to have the opportunity to compete collegiately. “Not many people can say they are on a team, none the less a team this organized.” said Thompson.

Since the construction of the new Esports arena on campus in 2019, many players like Gardner himself have been able to take full advantage of the nations top collegiate Esports arena. ” It’s really good to see, especially in a place like Wilson. ( on Barton College Esports arena) Where you would not expect it.” said Thompson.

As for the impression Gardner wants to make on the program, “More of a mainstream respect for the program.” said Thompson. With the Esports team still being young, guys like Gardner hope to pave the way to make Barton a house hold name in the Esports industry.

However, next year he intends to not compete competitively and take on a staff role. Which will include helping out with recruiting, video broadcasting of matches and streams.


By: Jakob Ryan