What's new in esports for June 2019?
|Barry University||Miami Shores||Florida|
|St. Thomas University||Miami Gardens||Florida|
“Esports Stadiums Are Popping Up Everywhere” -Forbes
“E-sports team co-owned by Drake wants to raise $25M in new funding round” -New York Post
“Microsoft aiming to apply sports analytics to esports with Cloud9 partnership” -The Washington Post
“As E-Sports Grow, So Do Their Homes” -The New York Times
With headlines like these, it’s tough to deny the popularity, growth, and influence of esports. Now that esports has everyone’s attention, colleges and universities across the country now believe that esports will play a crucial role in their identities. So in addition to developing a formal esports program, most colleges plan to offer highly coveted scholarships as an investment in the growth of their student bodies and programs.
Today, we are pleased to announce that Arcadia University, Barry College, and St. Thomas University have joined the growing number of schools with formal esports programs. St. Thomas University has already established a scholarship program and each school plans to launch their esports program this fall. Here you go.
Arcadia University, Glenside, Pennsylvania
This fall, Arcadia University will become one of eight colleges and universities in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) offering an esports varsity athletic program. The school, which offers a BA in Global Media with a Digital Gaming Studies Concentration, joins Albright College, DeSales University, Delaware Valley University, Lebanon Valley College, Misericordia University, Stevenson University, and Widener University.
Gamers in Arcadia’s co-educational esports program will compete as part of the school’s athletic program in games such as League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, and Rocket League, with two teams per game. A 1,500-square-foot space on campus will serve as the central competition area and the program will be led by a head coach (for each game) and a program director.
According to the school, the arena will be equipped with 36 high-end gaming PCs, multiple console-based systems, a projection system for coaches to use for film study and game review, coaches offices, and a players' lounge. Arcadia has plans for two teams per game and the arena will be available to other various groups on campus, such as the Gaming Club. The school plans to join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).
Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida
Barry University has announced the launch of an esports program beginning this fall. The school is in the process of constructing an esports gaming room that will support the team, which will compete against other college/university esports teams. The space will also support individual students interested in gaming. Led by Director of Athletics Michael L. Covone, the Barry esports program will be a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Games sponsored by NACE for esports include Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, Paladins, Rocket League, SMITE, and Starcraft II.
In addition to the new esports program, Barry University offers a degree program in Computer Information Systems (CIS) with a Digital Media Concentration that the school thinks will interest esports student-athletes seeking a career in the field. The program prepares students for positions in the gaming industry through courses in Video Game Design, Virtual Reality, 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, Web Animation, and Computer Programming.
Barry University is currently recruiting gamers for the Buccaneer esports team.
St. Thomas University, Miami Gardens, Florida
This fall, St. Thomas University (STU) plans to launch South Florida’s first school sanctioned esports team. The school is already a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), and according to CBS Miami, the team, which will be housed in a room above the basketball court, even falls under the athletic department where Director Laura Courtley-Todd thinks, “it’s a perfect fit.”
“To me, putting that together and marrying them and having the students walk through the activities, it mirrors all the kids on campus. It gets them out of their dorm room. Because they’re playing this in their dorm rooms. Now they have to walk through the gym, walk through the campus, come upstairs and be integrated with all the sports,” Courtley-Todd said.
The STU team currently has 10 members, with a practice space equipped for 17 players. The team will compete in League of Legends, and merit scholarships are available depending on the team member’s level of play. While STU does not have a formal game design program, the school does offer a BS in Computer Science.