The esports craze will make its way to another local institution in 2020.
Mount St. Mary’s University has announced the launch of an esports program to begin in the 2020-2021 academic year. The team will consist of between 15 and 20 student-athletes in its first year with at least 10 newly recruited students, the school announced in a press release.
The program will be affiliated under the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), as esports is not currently supported by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Games likely to be played include “League of Legends,” “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Brothers,” “NBA” and “FIFA.”
“Like our 22 NCAA Division I sports and premier men’s rugby team, premier eSports will be supported by a university chaplain and incorporate mind, body and spirit,” said Levi Esses, dean of student life. “In addition, there will be linkages to curriculum, values-based game selection and collaboration with other Catholic teams.”
Other Catholic colleges with varsity esports teams include St. Francis University, Sacred Heart University and Providence College.
The Mount’s game list will exclude games that are not consistent with Mount values given the university’s faithfulness to its Catholic identity, the press release said.
The Mount is searching for a director of esports to oversee the program. Athletes will have academic support and team study halls as well as practice times and mandatory workouts, the college stated.
The college is also considering incorporating esports into curriculum, and possibly developing a related minor.
The Mount joins Hood College as the second college to announce the launch of an esports program. Hood announced esports as a club program in January and six months later named Chris Leonard as coach of the team.