By: Dakotah Jones
The Illinois College Administration has found it to be prudent to incorporate an on campus esports team. What is esports you might ask? According to dictionary.com, esports is defined as, “competitive tournaments of video games, especially among professional gamers.” The board has recently passed funds along so that IC can immediately start recruiting the best video-game talent possible. They have even hired a coach, Christian Matlock, who will be coaching both a varsity and a junior varsity team. Since the decision, IC has been featured in numerous local and national newspapers for being one of the very few schools to be pioneers in offering scholarships to individuals for their video-game talent.
At other institutions such as Robert Morris University where they have two teams as well; they break down video-game film, and the athletes partake in team bonding exercises. The teams will primarily compete in the fall season through the Collegiate Star League, which is a League of Legends conference. Caine is currently being renovated to house the team’s practice and competition site; conveniently located right across from the grill where the team will be able to stock up on High Voltage, Kick Starts and Doritos. All jokes aside, the school sees this as an investment opportunity and a way to gain some national attention. Being that it is a pioneer so to speak in regards to esports on college campuses, it should definitely pull some students to attend IC who might not have even considered it before. It will also provide current students who aren’t already involved in an athletics team to be able to enjoy that feeling of being apart of one themselves. The gaming center will also be available to all students outside of the hours in which the teams practice and compete, which is definitely nice for the entire student population.
Hopefully the investment will draw more students to at least come to visit the campus. If it doesn’t work out, the overall investment isn’t very risky and wouldn’t be detrimental to the school’s pocket. If all goes well, the investment will pay for itself in no time and the school will have at least a dozen more students that it might not have ever had prior to installing an esports team, opening a constant flow of new and incoming students. It’s a great opportunity to gain some needed national exposure, with very little risk and a lot of potential reward.
Dakotah Jones, Opinions Editor, Junior 18’. From Brielle, New Jersey. Majoring in MOL W/ Marketing, Minor in English. Football Team, SAAC, Writing Center.