eSports

photo of Zachary Blanner, Charles Johnson
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Since the fall of 2016, the number of colleges that have varsity eSports programs has jumped from six to more than 70. This fall, Northeast Ohio’s two largest universities will start offering scholarships for students who are skilled at battling futuristic robots, jungle monsters, and warlocks.  So what does that mean for the universities and their students?

photo of Overwatch eSports league
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Kent State University has joined a rapidly growing movement around the country and started an eSports program to recruit video gamers and form a team to compete against other schools.

Kent State held its first eSports tournament on Saturday, complete with play-by-play announcers, fans in the stands and an online stream of the six-person teams playing the shoot-em-up game “Overwatch.”

photo of Kent State
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY

Kent State University could be the latest school to add a varsity program for eSports, multiplayer videogame competitions.

Kent State’s Vice President for System Integration, Nathan Ritchey, says the conversation about eSports started last April when the University of Utah announced its program.   

STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, December 19:

photo of Akron eSports uniform
UNIVERSITY OF AKRON ESPORTS

The University of Akron is joining a handful of schools around the nation in adding a new varsity sport that will allow students to compete in online video games.

eSports or “electronic sports” have been gaining in popularity at Ohio universities with Miami, Tiffin and Lourdes universities all starting programs since last year. Akron’s team will have as many as 35 students, with a club program supporting hundreds more.