Chowan Announces Addition Of eSports
The Chowan University Department of Athletics in conjunction with the Office of the President at Chowan University is excited to announce the addition of Esports beginning Fall of 2020. Esports is competitive gaming using video games on various platforms, most often in the form of organized, multiplayer competitions.
"Coupled with the University's other men and women sports, Esports represents a significant growth potential in attracting and retaining students," said Dr. Kirk E. Peterson, Chowan President. "Esports will add another dimension to the landscape of extracurricular offerings for our students. We hope to get out in front of the Esports movement that's evolving on scholastic and college campuses nationwide."
"This is an exciting time at Chowan and to be a part of athletics. We are growing our athletic program in order to meet the demands of a growing interest in Esports," stated Chowan's Athletic Director, Patrick Mashuda. "This is a great opportunity for Chowan to provide a co-ed and co-curricular opportunity for both returning and new students."
Chowan will join the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), which formed in 2016 and serves as the largest governing body of intercollegiate Esports in the country. NACE currently has over 60 member institutions across the United States, accounting for over 94 percent of intercollegiate programs in the country. In 2018, the Peach Belt Conference will sponsor Esports as a conference championship, with the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the East Coast Conference (ECC) sponsoring championships as well.
Nationally, roster sizes range from 20 to 30 students and given the international exposure of gaming, the University believes will provide an exceptional recruiting base. Currently, Conference Carolinas has six member institutions with Esports teams. They include Barton College, Belmont Abbey College, Erskine College, King University, Lees-McRae College and Limestone College. With Chowan's addition, Conference Carolinas could become one of the few athletic conferences in the nation eligible to have a conference championship in the sport.
The Esports practice and competition area will be located in the Helms Center and is slated to be equipped with 20 specialized gaming computers and a large screen for team strategy and spectator viewing. Each competition station will be outfitted with a gaming keyboard, headset, gaming chair, and 24" screen.
Chowan will initially look to compete in the most popular Esports games, Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone, Fortnite and Rocket League. League of Legends is the most popular competitive game in the United States, with over 95 percent of intercollegiate programs sponsoring the game, while Overwatch is the second most popular at 74 percent. Both games are multi-player, online games where student-athletes on a team work together to defeat the opposing team within the established rules and objectives of the game.