Wednesday, June 27, 2018

From the couch to the stadium: eSports comes to STU



eSports is a growing phenomenon, and it is expanding into the collegiate sports scene. Currently, there are around 50 collegiate programs, with a national governing body known as the National Association of Collegiate (NACE). And, this fall, St. Thomas University will launch a scholarship supported competitive eSports team! But, what exactly is eSports? Read below to find out. 

What is/are eSports?
It is competitive tournament-style video gaming at a collegiate or professional level. Fun fact: The total prize money of all professional eSports events held in 2015 reached $61 million!

What sort of games can be an eSport? 
eSports athletes (yes, they are considered athletes) compete in a variety of game types including League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. 

Players train like traditional athletes.
Although they usually compete in stadiums, eSports players aren’t your traditional athletes. But, physical training is of utmost importance to collegiate players. Playing in eSports competitions requires physical conditioning, especially endurance. For optimal performance balance is key, and that involves nutrition, physical, and mental health. 

Who can play on an eSports team?
Anyone! And it’s not just for the boys. According to a report by PwC, 22 percent of women say they are involved in eSports compared to 18 percent of men. 

Where can I watch these games?
Major tournaments are generally held in sports arenas like LA’s Staples Center, but you could also watch them online. The typical online platforms are Twitch, a website where people stream themselves playing video games, and YouTube. Every now and then, ESPN will show a tournament on TV. 

Prospective student-athletes who are interested in joining the inaugural eSports team at St. Thomas University should contact Director of Athletics Laura Courtley-Todd via email at lcourtle@stu.edu


Stay tuned to stubobcats.com for announcements regarding the launch of the eSports program at St. Thomas University.

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