New Knight to Know: James Donnici ’26 Recruited to Join Arcadia Esports

By Celia Rittler and Ryan Hiemenz | August 31, 2023
A selfie of James Donnici '25

James Donnici ’26, a veteran of the Army Reserves and transfer student from the University of Pikeville, is joining Arcadia University this semester as a computer science major and a member of the Esports team

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Donnici has had a long travel record, eventually leading him to Arcadia. 

Coming out of high school, Donnici was unaware of exactly what he wanted to do and decided to join the military. Over the course of his eight years serving with the Army Reserves, he worked for their HR department and realized that he really wanted to work with computers in the future. At the end of his service he did not know exactly what he should do so he started working a few odd jobs. 

In his free time, he was an avid player of “League of Legends,” a competitive arena style video game that’s well-known in the Esports community. Eventually, he was noticed in-game by a college recruiter at the University of Pikeville, who offered him a spot on their Esports team. He played for the UPike Bears for about a year and a half, gaining more experience in the collegiate scene of Esports. Here was noticed by the Arcadia Esports director, Nick Alverson, who then offered Donnici a spot on Arcadia’s team. At the time, University of Pikeville was cycling out his major so it seemed like a perfect time to transfer since he could continue his degree at Arcadia. 

When he looked more into Arcadia he was delighted by what the Esports program had to offer, saying it was “very well defined and respected,”. The castle on campus caught his eye and he was drawn to the area, even though it was very different from what he was used to in Missouri and Kentucky joking that “With Philadelphia being so close, it’s a real city environment. There’s people everywhere.” 

Donnici looks forward to gaining more personal growth at this time at Arcadia, while also developing a new routine with classes and Esports. Even though it’s sometimes hard to be social, he looks forward to meeting new people and building connections, saying that, “by being nice you can just easily talk to people.” 

Additionally, He shared that one of his main goals is to provide returns on the opportunities he’s been given, especially through competing at a high level and hopefully winning some championships with Arcadia. He explains, “If someone gives you something, like Arcadia is giving me, I always want to give back and just show them that I appreciate that.”