The FSC program will begin as a club sport under the Office of Student Development, with tournaments already scheduled for the spring, but the goal of the program is to field a varsity team that will transition to the Athletic Department in the fall of 2018 and proudly wear the Moccasins emblem in competition against other college teams.
Nov 15, 2017
Florida Southern College will join the latest wave of high-tech sports competition with the launch of a new eSports program this spring. College officials anticipate that FSC will be the first school in Florida to join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), a newly formed governing body for the emerging world of competitive college video gaming.
The eSports program will be focused initially on the video game League of Legends, which is played by teams of five and is popular in competitive college gaming. Dean of Student Development Bill Langston said that excitement is building among the student body about the new program.
“We see this as a great opportunity for students to be able to unify around something they’re already doing individually. It will pull together students with similar interests and create a sense of collegiality. In addition, it is tapping into one of the fastest growing sports trends,” he said.
College officials are eager to see a growing relationship between FSC’s burgeoning Department of Computer Science and the eSports team, with many students majoring in computer science already well-versed in computer gaming.
FSC officials are hard at work designing a special arena with state-of-the-art gaming units, wiring infrastructure, monitors, headsets, and sophisticated ergonomic chairs for the competitors. There will also be space for spectators to watch the FSC team as it competes.
Competitive video gaming has become a true spectator sport, with tournaments regularly televised on ESPN and TBS, as well as streamed over the website Twitch. According to a recent article in The New York Times, the NACE was formed in 2016 and has grown to more than 40 affiliated college programs.
More than 50 students have expressed an interest in participating in the program, and sophomore Garrett Bennett is already considered an elite player, rated in the top 1 percent of League of Legends players worldwide. “I am looking forward to this new adventure in the gaming world through eSports,” said Director of Athletics and Dean of Wellness Pete Meyer. “We anticipate building another successful team in our athletics program.”
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