ACR takes a deep dive into Boise State University's esports program
Boise State University launched its varsity esports program in 2017, competing in its first exhibition tournament at the 2018 Mountain West Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Broncos quickly qualified for the Collegiate National Championship in Burbank, California, for Hearthstone. The team finished among the top five Hearthstone teams in the U.S. Following the big win, the program opened a state-of-the art esports arena in the College of Innovation and Design’s Venture College in downtown Boise.
According to the Boise State News, the esports arena includes a professional broadcasting section, a technical mixing and graphics area, a two-tiered stage set-up, and new lighting and sound capabilities. The arena also includes a large area for spectators to watch the team in action. Another special touch—first-generation blue-turf recycled from Boise State’s iconic football field.
What Esports Teams Does Boise State University Field? Are Scholarships Available?
In addition to Hearthstone, the Boise State University Broncos compete in Overwatch, Rocket League, League of Legends, and Heroes of the Storm with Smite and Paladins as “event teams.”
Additional supported games in 2019/2020 may include CoD, CS:GO, Fortnite, APEX, Magic the Gathering, Smash, and others. Teams compete in intercollegiate play as part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Scholarships and financial aid opportunities are available.
What Degree Programs Does Boise State University Offer for Aspiring Game Designers?
While collegiate esports participants come from a wide spectrum of majors, many students who participate in competitive esports plan to pursue careers in the games industry. Boise State University offers a Games, Interactive Media, & Mobile Technology (GIMM) major based in the College of Innovation and Design. The program prepares students to create the technologies people use and experience in their work and personal lives. Sample courses for the program include:
- 3D Animation and Modeling
- Game Design Theory
- Game Development
- Information Technology and Network Essentials Lab
- Interactive Physical Computing
- Interactive Programming
- Mobile Application Development for Media
- Visual Storytelling
In GIMM, students will learn how to design games, websites, apps, and virtual reality environments to help contribute to and build the technologies of the future. They will complete a Senior Capstone and Digital Portfolio.
In addition to GIMM, Boise State University has a computer science program that has BS, MS and PhD options. Programs cover programming languages, data structures and algorithms, operating systems, compilers, software engineering, and computer organization, as well as mathematics, statistics and the natural sciences. Graduates are well prepared for immediate employment in either the computer industry or many other businesses that rely on computer science.
How Do I Join the Boise State University Esports Team?
The esports program at Boise State is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Teams are recruited and selected from current students who have part- or full-time status at Boise State University. Auditions for varsity esports teams are held twice a year. Tryouts are conducted face-to-face. However, exceptions may be made for student’s home for the break, but webcam and Discord participation are required. Players do not need to be enrolled full-time during auditions.
Boise State Esports is looking for students who excel in a team environment, are eager for coaching and feedback, and want to contribute to Boise State as a leader in esports. Players selected for the team must maintain grades and academic performance, attendance at team practices and selected matches, uphold the “Bronco Code,” student-athlete conduct agreement, and maintain guidelines outlined in Boise State Esports student-athlete handbook. All current varsity members are expected to participate in tryouts if they plan to continue.
For additional information about joining the Boise State University Broncos, visit the official Boise State University Esports website here.