This is the full text of NACE's 9/04/2018 press release.
Cazenovia College announced today the addition of its 15th varsity sports program, competitive video gaming - popularly known as eSports, which is set to arrive in the Fall of 2018. The Wildcats will seek membership with the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), a nationally recognized organization dedicated to competitive collegiate video gaming.
"eSports is about more than just playing video games – it can be used to help students grow their interests with a dedicated peer group and develop valuable life skills, just like student-athletes in traditional intercollegiate sports," said Director of Athletics Pete Way. "I am very interested in the skill gap required, separating competitive eSports from casual gaming, and highlighting the student-athletes who stand out in that competitive setting."
The student-athletes on the College's eSports team will attend regular practice sessions and will compete in matches and championship tournaments in the newly designed gaming arena located in Chapman Hall. Potential games include League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Fortnite, and FIFA, and will be determined based on student interest and involvement.
Each gaming system features a high-end AMD Ryzen processor and a Nvidia GTX 1070 graphics card. The gaming stations also include top of the line gaming peripherals such as the Logitech Proteus Spectrum G502 gaming mouse, Logitech G610 Orion Red mechanical gaming keyboard, and Corsair Void Pro RGB headset, as well as pro gaming chairs from DXracer that feature lumbar and neck support. The gaming monitors are a special eSports edition from Asus, which are 27in, 144 Hz screens providing extremely low latency for precise movement in the game. The arena will also feature a 43in 4K TV to review game footage from recordings and streams.
Leading the Wildcats inaugural eSports season will be first-year Head Coach Bryant Beers.
"I'm excited to take on the position of head eSports coach, and it is my hope that we can foster a great video gaming community here at the college," said Beers. "The best thing about eSports is that it's inclusive, giving anyone the opportunity to participate in a collegiate level sport."
Initial funding for the College's eSports program was provided by The President's Innovation Fund. Established in 2016 by current Cazenovia College President, Dr. Ron Chesbrough, the fund was created to support investments in projects and programs advancing the College's strategic priority areas of student success, building innovative programs, and raising the profile of the College.
The addition of an eSports team on campus will provide Cazenovia College with an opportunity to expand and enhance learning opportunities. As eSports continues to grow, there will be an increasing need for skills that support the industry including management, event production, tournament organization, and league operations. With current academic offerings in sports management, visual communications, and communication studies, the College is well positioned to be a strong player in the field.
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