Columbia College just announced that it will be officially introducing a program in eSports. The campus has joined a group of very few learning institutions, like Maryville University, that offer scholarships in e-sports.
At the moment the campus’ administration decided to start small. So, two teams comprising 5 players and 2 alternate players have been set up. The plan is that through the Collegiate Star League, they will play against other students across the states. They decided to launch the program by playing League of Legends because of its popularity. Recent studies have shown that about 27 million people play League of Legends on a daily basis.
Bryan Curtis, Director of e-sports in Columbia College acknowledges that the game involves a lot of teamwork and strategy and it will be good for shaping the students’ creativity and leadership skills.
Scott Dalrymple, Columbia College President, is of the opinion that the skills acquired in e-sports are just as legitimate as the ones from traditional sports. He goes further and explains how e-sports gaming sharpen hand-eye coordination.
The obvious question, at this point, lingering in the minds of many people is how the program will be funded. Scott Dalrymple said that funding at the moment will be drawn from Columbia College Recreation Department. According to reports, activities of the new e-sports program will take place at the building currently under construction along Range Line Street. It will be equipped with a dozen computers, gaming systems & consoles as well as about 4 TVs.
Epic Ed, an e-sports company, is providing consultation services to the campus and together with other individuals; the campus is striving to have the program up and running by early next year.
According to the campus’ administration, a head coach position for the program is available. The coach’s primary function will be to; identify and recruit potential members, identify key strengths of players and create smart strategies with the teams.
The program will focus on League of Legends competitions only but Curtis hints to a possible expansion into other games in the future.