What an eSports Club Could Mean for Augie

In recent years, eSports have become a worldwide form of competition involving annual tournaments, big crowds, and huge prizes and sponsorships. Opinions on eSports vary from "That's really cool! I wish I could be a part of that!" to "These are pointless. Who wants to watch people play video games?"

The history of eSports goes back as early as the 1970s. Today, some of the biggest titles in eSports tournaments are League of Legends (LoL), Dota 2, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

So what does this all mean for Augustana College?

College-level eSports teams have developed across the U.S., encouraging students to become a part of the eSports experience and to put their colleges on the map (like this map). Financial aid in eSports-related scholarships is available to students attending colleges and universities with The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) memberships. Basically, if Augustana could establish an eSports group with several skilled teams, our students could participate in nationwide competitions and earn financial aid for their hard work. They can combine their love for team-based video games and competition to gain some fame and fortune. Augustana would also seem more exciting to incoming gamers looking at colleges.

This is also an opportunity for all genders of students of Augustana College to form teams with each other. Women are often overlooked in the gaming community, and by forming inclusive teams on campus, the stereotype can be broken and people can simply coexist as gamers who want to play video games competitively.

Thanks to the encouragement from faculty (David Thornblad and Andrew Sward), Augustana College has finally gotten the ball rolling by recently having an informational meeting and electing officers for the first eSports group on campus. While some teams have been formed already, the group is still fresh and in need of practice before they can compete at a national level. Hopefully, they can offer a place for Augustana's current and future competitive gamers to learn from each other and earn with each other.