Morningside College announced that it is creating an esports program on campus. Intercollegiate competition will begin in the fall, and the college is offering talent scholarships of up to $5,000 per year.
The program is for anyone with a passion for video games and a desire to pursue excellence. The team will play League of Legends and Overwatch, though additional games could be added.
When competing, there are five or six players on each side of the battlefield, each playing a specific position. If someone dies early in the game, it can put the team at a disadvantage, so players have to think about when to push forward and when to pull back. It requires skill, intellect and strategy.
“Honestly, it’s like a real time chess match,” said Dean Stevens, professor of mathematical sciences and director of esports at Morningside. “It is about knowing what your strengths are, knowing your teammates.”
Morningside will compete as part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports. The college is creating an esports nexus in one of the residence halls where players will go for practices and for most of their competitions. But Stevens noted that at the highest level of competition, fans will fill stadiums for esports contests.