Esports Coming to Lakeland

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Esports Coming to Lakeland

Lakeland Athleticsas well as the Campus Life Department, are working on bringing gaming to the community. 

Esports is a new form of competition that focuses on gaming as opposed to the traditional sports that are more affiliated with NCAA and professional leagues. Esports are primarily focused on competitive multiplayer games. While most competitions and games are focused on teams, there are individual tournaments as well.  

Schools around the world are realizing the benefits that accompany Esports. Colleges that have already implemented Esports include Robert Morris University in Chicago, Ill, Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Ind, and Keuka College in Keuka Park, N.Y. These schools can use Esports, not only to provide scholarships to a more diverse student base but to also give students who are not usually involved in regular athletics a chanceLakeland has considered these benefits and looks to bring the sport to our campus. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to add and recruit Esports at Lakeland University … it has been a passion topic of mine for quite a few years, and it will be an exciting addition to LU.” As stated by April Arvan, Director of Athletics. 

To begin, the Esports team will be housed in the Campus Life Department under Mike Bacher’s leadership with the possibility of it being housed in the Athletics Department in the future, according to Arvan. “There was quite a bit of discussion regarding Esports and NCAA status at the last NCAA meeting. Some schools house their Esports teams in the Campus Life Department while others house them in the Athletics Department.” 

There are plenty of students who are in favor of this edition to the school. Seniors Alex Kleiber and Andrew L’Empereur, lifelong gamers, stated that having an Esports team would benefit the school’s involvement and diversity to campus activities.  

Alex went on to state, “I think Gaming is very common among students and would be the perfect addition. It certainly is big enough for the student base to benefit from having an organized team. The only problem Lakeland might run into is getting enough students to join the team. For example, most PVP (player Vs. player) games require several players per team.”  

“It would definitely increase student involvement substantially. Though, I think it would be hard to find enough students to commit to one game to compete in. I would recommend some sports games like Madden or NBA 2K, as these are very popular and easy to get into.” Andrew added.  

Some advice that both students gave on starting the team included setting up a survey to see what students want to play. The main goal should be creating a space for people to have fun gaming. The school should select games to compete in based on what the students would like to play. 

There is a large pool of games that Lakeland could choose from. Some of the most popular competitive games that are being played professionally around the world include Smite, Call of duty, League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, Super Smash Bros, and Overwatch.  

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