What's new in collegiate esports?
|University of Mount Union||Alliance||Ohio|
With a current count of 130+ institutions, as of January 2018, over 94% of all varsity esports programs in the U.S. are members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) with an ever-increasing number of schools exploring esports. Today, we would like to tell you about two. We are pleased to announce that University of Mount Union and Valparaiso University have launched their very own esports programs and both schools are recruiting now.
University of Mount Union, Alliance, Ohio
Beginning this fall, University of Mount Union (UMU) will have its very own esports program, adding to the schools already impressive list of student life offerings. Students will compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League, are eligible to receive a scholarship on top of the standard aid package. Besides talent, team members must maintain a 2.5 GPA and they will be required to hold membership in at least one other campus organization and participate in community service activities.
Per the school, “Mount Union’s esports program, much like its academics, will be grounded in the liberal arts tradition and focus on the holistic development of its students.” Further, said Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ron Holden, “our goal is to be a competitive force in the realm of collegiate esports.”
“Players will enhance skills utilized and developed in gaming such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and leadership. These skills are directly transferable to the careers of tomorrow,” he said. “It’s very exciting that Mount Union is not only embracing this aspect of today’s culture, but we also providing scholarship opportunities to support earning a college degree.”
Varsity team members will practice, learn, and compete in a 4,500 sq. ft. state-of-the-art, dedicated esports facility right on campus. In addition to being a place where esports athletes can compete, there will also be ‘free play’ PCs for any student on campus to try out some of the games team members are playing. Per the school, “the center will be outfitted with custom Respawn Gaming chairs embroidered with the UMU Esports Logo.” Other sample equipment Zowie BenQ XL2430 144hz Monitor, Zowie Celeritas II Keyboard, Zowie FK1 Mouse, and HyperX Cloud II Headset.
The Esports Center also includes a Varsity Players Lounge that will be used for strategy and reviewing game film. Current or perspective Mount Union students interested in joining or receiving more information about esports at Mount Union, are encouraged to visit the interest form here.
University of Mount Union is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).
Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana
Valparaiso University (Valpo or VU) has announced that it plans to launch the university’s first competitive esports team this fall. The university will offer the program through NACE. The new program will be housed under Valpo Recreational Sports and players will compete in League of Legends. The platform uses a 5-on-5 format.
Valparaiso Director of Athletics Mark LaBarbera said, “we are very excited to be adding a new opportunity for our students to compete not only on a national, but also an international level.” About gaming, LaBarbera said the activity “has become an established part of the lives of many of our students, and we are excited to give them a formal way to make it part of their Valpo experience.”
VU Associate Director of Recreational Sports Tristan Leonhard added, "while we are eager to put together a team that can win matches, this provides the opportunity to create a new sense of community on campus from the beginning.”
“Esports will allow for students to continue to succeed and build character in various activities outside of the classroom. We are ready to hit the ground running,” she said.
Students interested in learning more about the new esports program at Valparaiso University should visit the official Valpo Athletics website here.