This is the full text of NACE and DeSales Bulldogs' 10/10/2018 press release.
DeSales University is announcing that come this Spring, 2019, the Bulldogs will add esports as a varsity sport.
Esports, also known as electronic sports, is a form of competition using video games. It is commonly multi-player games involving strategy and skill and has been increasing in popularity rapidly over the last several years with media outlets such as ESPN devoting time to the ever-growing sport.
"Bringing esports to DeSales has truly been a collaborative effort between many areas of our University," said Director of Athletics Scott Coval. "We are incredibly excited to meet the growing interest in esports and provide competitive gaming opportunities for our students. Esports will add excitement to our athletic department and to our campus community. With the hiring of new coaches and the building of a first-class competition area, we are thankful for the commitment DeSales is making to our newest varsity sport."
The addition of esports, which will be a co-ed team, gives DeSales 20 varsity sports that include nine men's sports, 10 women's sports, and now one co-ed sport. DSU will compete as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) as well as in the ECAC's Intercollegiate Esports competitions.
The first game that the Bulldogs will compete in will be League of Legends in the Spring of 2019 and will be adding the game Overwatch in the Fall of 2019. The University is building a dedicated team space in the Northeast corner of Dorothy Day Student Union building. This space will be dedicated to the athletes on the esports team to comply with NACE regulations and will not be open to regular DeSales students.
"The two titles we will be competing in are incredibly complex and strategy driven," says esports Program Director and Assistant Professor of Computer Science: Digital Art and 3D Animation, Karen Ruggles. "The players have to know each hero – their strengths, weaknesses, and how each hero can play with and against other heroes. Adaptability, strategy, teamwork, and communication are required skills to be successful within the games. As the program director, I look forward to helping each player take those skills and translate them to a tool for their future studies and careers."
Esports will have its own page on the DeSales University athletics website that will include everything that other varsity sports have including a roster, schedule, form for prospective students and recruits to fill out, links for places to watch and follow games, etc. in the very near future and before the season starts.
DeSales will also be hiring a head coach with preference to candidates who show competitive knowledge in League of Legends and/or Overwatch and that position will be posted in the coming weeks.
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