|Cazenovia College||Cazenovia||New York|
|Daemen College||Amherst||New York|
|Southern New Hampshire University||Manchester||New Hampshire|
|University of Texas at Dallas||Richardson||Texas|
The growth rate for eSports is around 41.3% year-over-year, and that growth is expected to transform the space into a $1.5 billion market by 2020, up from $493 million in 2016 and $655 million in 2017. Total revenue for 2018 alone is expected to exceed $900 million, with China and North America generating over half of this figure.
According to some of the most recent eSports statistics, the global eSports audience is expected to reach 380 million this year, including 165 million dedicated fans and 215 occasional viewers. ESports is also expected to attract between 167 and 300 million viewers per month, with ticket sales and merchandise accounting for $96 million of total projected revenue.
“With growth rates for eSports so high, it's likely that professional gaming will eventually overtake some or all of the major professional sports leagues,” reports Forbes. “And that's probably why colleges and universities are getting into the act.” The National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE) lists nearly 100 eSports colleges in its directory, and this figure is expected to reach 120 by the end of this year.
Today, we would like to tell you about five new eSports programs that have joined this growing club. Some are already members of the National Association of Collegiate eSports, while others are working on it.
We are pleased to announce that Cazenovia College, Daemen College, Edinboro University, Southern New Hampshire University, and University of Texas at Dallas will be joining the growing number of schools that offer eSports programs.
Cazenovia College - Cazenovia, New York
At the end of August, Cazenovia College announced the addition of its 15th varsity sports program, with a Fall 2018 launch date. Led by first-year Head Coach Bryant Beers, the new eSports team, known as the Cazenovia College Wildcats, will seek membership with the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE). Potential games include FIFA, Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends, and Overwatch, and will be determined based on student interest and involvement.
Student-athletes on Cazenovia College’s eSports team will attend regular practice sessions and compete in championship tournaments and matches in the school’s newly designed gaming arena located in Chapman Hall. Cazenovia College Athletics reports that initial funding for the program was provided by The President's Innovation Fund, which was created to “support investments in projects and programs advancing the College's strategic priority areas of student success, building innovative programs, and raising the profile of the College.”
The school says as the new eSports program grows, the demand for skills that support the industry will as well. Management, event production, tournament organization, and league operations are just a few growing areas. “With current academic offerings in sport management, visual communications, and communication studies,” Cazenovia College is “well positioned to be a strong player in the field.”
Founded in 1824, Cazenovia College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. It is the eighth oldest private, independent college in New York State and the 28th oldest independent college/university in the United States. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MCSHE), Cazenovia College serves nearly 900 students enrolled in more than 35 Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Professional Studies programs. Game-related program offerings include a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration/Animation.
Daemen College - Amherst, New York
Daemen College has announced the creation of the eSports Division of the school’s Daemen Game Club. The formation of the eSports Division made Daemen College the first private institution in the Buffalo, Niagara region to join the emerging world of competitive collegiate gaming. “As one of the fastest-growing activities on college campuses across the country, eSports is at the forefront of collegiate programming and we are excited to be a part of this national trend,” said Daemen College President Gary Olson. “Our newly created eSports team directly connects to the interest of our students and will offer them the opportunity to engage in a unique competitive recreational program.”
The College will be fielding two teams in League of Legends and investigating other popular areas in which to go. Teams will be comprised of current and prospective students, and students will practice in a new, modern eSports lab in the Daemen College Wick Student Center.
Led by newly appointed Head Coach Jeffrey Hamm, the division’s inaugural teams will be competing in the Fall 2018 season of League of Legends, along with five other institution to compete under the East Coast Conference (ECC) umbrella. According to the Official Site of The Daemen College Wildcats, the East Coast Conference, “which is the affiliation for 14 of Daemen's 18 intercollegiate varsity teams, will crown an eSports champion, joining the Peach Belt Conference as the only NCAA Division II leagues to do so.”
Founded in 1947, Daemen College is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. The school serves 2,800 students enrolled in more than 60 majors across more than a dozen departments. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Daemen College also has a number of graduate, certificate, and minor programs. Game-related program offerings include Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Animation and Illustration, a Certificate in Visual Effects (VFX), and Minors in Computer Science and Illustration.
Edinboro University - Edinboro, Pennsylvania
Edinboro University has announced that it is recruiting players for the school’s new eSports program. The only eSports program in Western Pennsylvania, Edinboro University says that the program builds on the school’s “nationally ranked programs like gaming and virtual world development, as well as animation.” Players will compete in games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Fortnite, Hearthstone, and League of Legends.
The eSports team will be a varsity sport and a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), and the university plans to announce new space and amenities dedicated to the program in the near future. The eSports team is open to students from all majors and if accepted into the program, players “will have the chance to be a part of a team and compete against some of the top gamers in the world.”
The Edinboro University eSports program launches in Fall 2019.
Founded in 1857 as the Edinboro Academy, Edinboro University is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. The school, which serves 5,575 students, offers more than 100 areas of academic study through five colleges and schools. Game-related program offerings include a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science - Game and Virtual World Development, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Applied Media Arts - Graphic and Interactive Design or Cinema (Animation, Computer Animation, Film & Video), and Bachelor of Arts in Drawing or Illustration. Edinboro University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, (MSCHE).
Southern New Hampshire University - Manchester, New Hampshire
Southern New Hampshire University has just launched the first varsity eSports program in New Hampshire and one of only a few in New England. Per a recent New@SNHU report, “playing under the auspices of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), SNHU's team will field squads for four games - Fortnite, Hearthstone, League of Legends and Overwatch and battle online against teams from schools across the country.” The teams will compete in local, regional, and national competitions.
"We're treating this as a varsity sport," said SNHU Director of Esports Tim Fowler, who coached the university's League of Legends team last year as part of the school's Gaming Club. "This will allow a lot more focus, which I'm really excited about," he said.
According to the New@SNHU report, “in addition to directing the eSports program, Fowler is working to coordinate a dedicated space on campus for the team to meet, practice and review game footage. He will also do scouting of upcoming opponents and recruit players for future teams, who will be offered $3,000 scholarships beginning next fall.” Scholarships will be open to both new and current on-campus students.
SNHU reports that the school has already begun offering “gamer-specific housing,” which provides the “option to live with fellow eSports enthusiasts in a 48-student, pod-style housing arrangement on the third floor of Hampton Hall, located right in the heart of the SNHU campus.” Student-athletes will be “eat, sleep, and breathe eSports” as they settle into their new home “surrounded by other gamers.”
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 90,000 online students.
Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc., (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE), the school offers over 200 programs, from certificates to doctoral level degrees including business, education, liberal arts, social sciences and STEM.
Game-related program offerings include Bachelor of Art degrees in Game Art and Development and Graphic Design and Media Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science, Game Programming and Development, and Mechanical Engineering.
University of Texas at Dallas – Richardson, Texas
University of Texas at Dallas has launched a new eSports program, making it one of the few universities in Texas to offer eSports as part of its athletic department. The new eSports program is the school’s 14th sports program. According to a recent University of Texas at Dallas News Center release, Greg Adler was hired as Head Coach for the new eSports team in August. According to the release, Adler “has coached several online amateur teams and founded a major 10-week tournament in Pennsylvania that drew highly skilled players from across the state.”
The University has already completed construction of a new on-campus practice and competition space, “solidifying a ‘home field’ for the program.” Several rooms in the school’s Student Union were converted to a 24-seat arena for the new eSports teams to train and play. “It’s nice to have eSports at a collegiate level,” said Adler, “because it allows students to not only get the competitive experience, but also the education they want.”
“Within UT Dallas, it’s a perfect situation for eSports,” Adler said. “You can tell the students are very passionate about it and really want to get involved.”
In late August/early September, University of Texas at Dallas held tryouts to field the school’s first-ever League of Legends and Overwatch varsity teams. It was clear that the athletics department was seeking only the best players. To be considered, League of Legends applicants needed a minimum rank of Platinum 1 and Overwatch applicants needed the minimum rank of Diamond.
Founded in 1969, the University of Texas at Dallas is a public research university that serves approximately 27,640 students from more than 100 countries. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the school offers more than 140 academic programs across eight schools in areas ranging from bioengineering and global business to audiology and arts and technology. Arts and Technology is the third most popular undergraduate major and computer science is the top graduate program. Game-related programs include Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC).