By Zachary Burhans
Catawba College has introduced eSports to campus this year. The recent upward trend in video games has inspired avid gamers to make a name for themselves and build a career revolving around playing video games. Catawba will join over 60 other colleges and universities that have implemented eSports to their sporting events. Esports is the world’s fastest-growing spectator sport and is estimated to reach 430 million viewers by 2019. “The addition of eSports allows us to meet our students where their interests are,” explained Jared Tice, Catawba’s Dean of Students. Tice continues to elaborate that “eSports gives Catawba another pathway for student recruitment and provides our current and future student-athletes with a new and exciting intercollegiate sport.” Tice exclaims that eSports has the potential to bring students together in a social and academic environment.
eSports will offer students opportunities to work with students and faculty across academic disciplines. Students in the Communications Department can collaborate with the Catawba eSports team to broadcast the on-campus events and serve as play-by-play commentators on the social media channel, Twitch. Marketing students are encouraged to help promote the eSports team while the Sports Management and Business Administration students can gain insights and potential careers establishing and managing a “winning eSports team.”
Catawba’s new eSports Coordinator will be charged with developing schematics for an eSports lab, establishing an eSports team from among Catawba’s current students during the academic year. Tice will also be in charge of recruiting students to play on Catawba’s eSports team in the 2019-2020 academic year and the years to follow. Students are excited as eSports will establish a new kind of sports team and fan base inside the Catawba College community.