This is the full text of Harrisburg University's 10/30/2017 press release.
Harrisburg, Pa., USA, Oct. 30, 2017—Harrisburg University of Science and Technology officially became the first Mid-Atlantic university, and the 50th in the nation, to join the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE). As a part of its international recruiting effort, Harrisburg University will offer 15 full athletic scholarships—making eSports the university’s first varsity sport.
“We are a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) university with a student base that is driven by technology. eSports is by far our largest club on campus. The decision to create a varsity team and offer full eSports scholarships was a logical and natural next step,” said Harrisburg University President Eric Darr. As a gamer himself, Darr recognizes varsity eSports as a unique opportunity to develop a pathway for students to explore opportunities that arise from a STEM-based education.
Harrisburg University’s varsity eSports team is on track to launch in the Fall 2018 semester. The university is in the process of securing a locker room for the team and the club, and is creating an experience for eSports to be a spectator sport. As a pilot effort in partnership with NACE, Harrisburg University has begun a national search for a full-time coach that is either a current or formerly ranked World Gamer.
“Our goal is to sponsor eSports programs on campuses with the same level of attention and support given to traditional athletics,” said Michael Brooks, Executive Director of NACE. “We’re excited to have Harrisburg University join our roster as we continue to grow this program to offer students the opportunity to compete and engage with one another.”
The varsity team will have the opportunity compete in some of the most popular eSports games around the world, including League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone. Harrisburg University will also offer competitive teams for NBA 2K as part of a pilot program with NACE to test more traditional sports games.
“We are committed to making a large investment in the launch of this varsity team, while increasing eSports exposure to our region,” added Darr. Harrisburg University is currently engaged with local and national partners who have agreed to sponsor the varsity team. Additional partnership details to be announced when official.
About Harrisburg University
Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Harrisburg University is a private non-profit university offering bachelor and graduate degree programs in science, technology, and math fields. For more information on the University’s affordable demand-driven undergraduate and graduate programs, call 717.901.5146 or email, Connect@HarrisburgU.edu. More information about the NACE program is available at nacesports.org.