Collegiate Esports

Esports, for many of us, are just things we tune into on the weekends or in our free time. Maybe watching the Toronto Defiant take on the Chengdu Hunters in Overwatch League is the kind of thing that we love (I did watch that game this weekend and it was very good). Maybe it’s watching Cloud 9 take on TSM in the NALCS (Another thing I did, Go C9!). Whatever it may be, we spend a lot of time just watching these guys go at it.

As teenagers, we always wonder what it’d be like to play on one of those big name teams. Well, many colleges in the United States have started to pick up on the esports trend and have made teams of their own. And it’s not like this is a stagnant thing. Esports in colleges in growing at an alarming rate. In 2014, Robert Morris University was the first college program to establish a varsity esports program. Now, over 60 different colleges in the United States offer esports programs, with games like Overwatch and League of Legends being the forerunners.

Students at these colleges would compete against each other at different events, such as the Overwatch Collegiate Championship hosted by the Fiesta Bowl at Arizona State University. Players would face off against each other in round based matches, playing for varying amounts of scholarship money. Playing in these events isn’t the only way you can earn scholarships though. Many colleges offer partial and even sometimes full scholarships to come and play for their teams. Even your average local college might offer a scholarship or two if they deem you good enough to earn it. Take the skills you have on a PC or console and see if you have what it takes!

Duke and UNC ULoL Rivalries
Duke and UNC is not only of the greatest college basketball rivalries, but also a huge Esports rivalry.

Rivalries are still a heated thing too. Some of the oldest standing colleges in the United States face off against each other to prove that they aren’t just good at football or basketball, but esports too. Rivalries like Duke vs.UNC (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill) and Virginia vs. Virginia Tech are still as nail-biting and adrenaline inducing behind a screen as they are on the field or court.

Hai ``Hai`` Du Lam, former professional player and current LCS Caster

Many players in professional esports had intentions to go to college. Take Hai “Hai” Du Lam for example. Hai was had plans to get a Media and Arts degree from Michigan State University. His dominance on the League Club on campus found the eye of Quantic Gaming. The team quickly picked him up, rebranded to Cloud 9, and Hai lead the team to utter dominance. Hai would go on to be one of the greatest shot callers in LCS history and now casts games for Riot Inc. Players like Hai, however, would never change a thing.

Hai ``Hai`` Du Lam