Ricky Baptist, Director of Sports Information
BABSON PARK, Fla. – Webber International University athletics and Director of Athletics Darren Richie have announced the addition of an Esports program beginning in the fall of 2020.
“We believe that launching this program continues to demonstrate Webber International University’s commitment to offer dynamic and innovative co-curricular programs for our students,” said Richie. “With our new state-of-the-art facility that will be opening in August, this will eventually serve as another vehicle to make us a national contender in intercollegiate competitions.”
The new gaming arena will serve as a community center for gaming students and a venue for hosting and competing in intercollegiate Esports tournaments. The arena will become a flagship for Webber International University, outfitted with professional gaming products to provide students with an exemplary Esports experience.
“Webber International University has always excelled in incorporating effective student engagement strategies and producing learning outcomes that translate into extraordinary personal growth and amazing career opportunities,” said Dr. Charles S. Shieh, Chief Academic Officer. “WIU Esports is going to be just one more way for students to enjoy a transformational experience as future gamers through this very exciting world-wide cultural phenomenon.”
Webber’s new coed Esports team will compete as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), a national affiliation that formed in 2016 and, as of January, 2018, serves as the governing body for over 90 percent of all varsity Esports programs in the United States.
Competitive online gaming has exploded over the past few years with more than 200 million people watching the League of Legends World Championship in 2018, drawing even more viewers than the Super Bowl that year.
A national search for a coach at Webber is currently being conducted. For more information or for consideration, please contact Mr. Darren Richie at 863-638-2953 (email@example.com).
Immense popularity on the professional level has resulted in Esports expanding into intercollegiate athletics. Over 80 colleges/universities and 1,500 student-athletes are members of NACE, and the national association has brought in $9 million in scholarships and financial aid.
League of Legends and Overwatch are two of the most popular titles in the Esports community. Competitions are held online where teams compete against one another in scenarios of 5v5 (League of Legends) or 6v6 (Overwatch). All matches are streamed, and series typically last three to five hours.