Rocket League, VALORANT, Overwatch and League of Legends – get ready for Esports

Rocket League, VALORANT, Overwatch and League of Legends – get ready for Esports

Home » Feature 2 » Rocket League, VALORANT, Overwatch and League of Legends – get ready for Esports

Rocket League, VALORANT, Overwatch and League of Legends – get ready for Esports

Game controllerUDC is currently recruiting students who are confident team players, have gaming experience, mental agility and creativity, and work well under pressure for the University’s first Esports (electronic sports) program. Launching this fall, Joel Phillip, associate director of Athletics for Internal Operations, will direct the program.

Simple video game competitions between friends have turned into a new popular sport that is creating opportunities for student-athletes at colleges around the country. UDC joins a growing number of universities competing in fast-growing billion-dollar Esports industry.

Initially, the team will consist of six players with alternates. Participating students will be eligible for athletic scholarships. Tryouts will be held to build the first team, and coed students will play other colleges in the East Coast Conference, a collegiate athletic conference affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II. Member institutions are located in the northeastern United States in the states of Connecticut, New York and the District of Columbia.

Joel Phillip - UDC Associate Director oƒ Athletics for Internal Operations

Associate Director oƒ Athletics for Internal Operations

“I’m excited about it,” Phillip said. “This is a multimillion industry. It will provide opportunities for student competitors, including scholarships, and allow other students to gain experience in their areas of interest, such as commentating, writing about the games, or being involved in live streaming.”

Phillip hopes to collaborate with other departments to increase student involvement, including computer science and communications.

The competitions will be held in the E.B. Henderson Sports Complex and played in front of audiences watching on large screens in the fall and spring.

The Esport team will compete and play video games, including Rocket League, VALORANT, Overwatch and League of Legend—some of the most popular games in the competitive video gaming tournaments.

Like other sports, the East Coast Conference will establish ranks and tournaments. Phillip said 90 percent of the schools UDC will play in the Conference have Esport teams. As the program is established, students will be recruited from high schools in the future. UDC is expected to play against schools including New York Tech and Mercy College in New York.

Currently, there are more than 200 colleges and universities offering almost $15 million in scholarships. Esports is fast-growing, with over 400 million fans worldwide who repeatedly sell out arenas. Audiences have grown annually; in 2019, there were an estimated 197 million Esports enthusiasts. In 2021, that number grew to 234 million.

“We are doing this at UDC thanks to Patricia Thomas, director of athletics and Chief Student Development and Success Officer Dr. Latham,” Phillip said. “It’s a great opportunity for the University to attract more students and allow them to launch their careers.”

For more information about trying out for the Esports team, contact Coach Phillip.