Top tier universities in the US have not paid enough heed to eSports as a respectable sport or program that needs to exist. For the first time, a top tier university in the US, Miami University has announced the launch of a varsity eSports program.
Over the past decade, eSports has gained the kind of popularity that the cinema saw at the time of its inception. Most people, before eSports was actually a thing, considered video gaming, particularly competitive video gaming, an activity for the weak minded who had nothing better to do. The fact of the matter is that a lot of people still think the same way. Fortunately for the gaming community, organizations have stepped up, gamers have stepped up and created a separate entity for themselves in the form of eSports. Nowadays, prize pools in eSports tournaments go up tens of millions of dollars.
The Armstrong institute for interactive media at Miami University has launched eSports program to allow teams to compete and encourage the culture of eSports in the institution. Miami University has sought to join the growing culture of eSports at the right time; the industry stands at about $200 million and is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years.
“This is something we’ve been working on with our students all year,” said Phill Alexander, visiting assistant professor of composition/professional writing and Heanon Wilkins Faculty Fellow at AIMS. “Miami University and AIMS, in particular, have some of the most innovative, dedicated, creative students in the country, and our students have their fingers on the pulse of eSports and are engaged with the community. Thanks to their grassroots efforts, this initiative has gone from a student dream to a reality.”
The university program will be participating in five games over fall. The opportunity is open for any student who wishes to compete.
We need to see more initiatives like the Miami University eSports program, aimed at providing a platform for students who wish to pursue careers in the industry.