Northwood University to offer eSports starting in fall 2019

Northwood becomes fourth Michigan university to develop eSports program

Northwood University announced itwill offer competitive video gaming in the fall. (WDIV)
Northwood University announced itwill offer competitive video gaming in the fall. (WDIV) (Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

MIDLAND, Mich. – Northwood University announced it will offer eSports, or competitive video gaming, starting in fall 2019.

Northwood is one of four universities in Michigan to develop an eSports program in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Esports, according to school officials.

"For several months we have been exploring this emerging sport and the viability of building a team at our university,” said Keith Pretty, president and CEO at Northwood University. "We are confident eSports will appeal to our students as an extracurricular option, and are excited to be among the first universities in Michigan to offer this opportunity to our students."

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Scholarships are available to students for fall 2019, and students can earn up to $3,000 toward a position on Northwood’s eSports team.

Similar to a varsity sport, students on the team must meet initial academic eligibility requirements and maintain good academic standing to compete.

Games used in competition include Overwatch, Hearthstone, Fortnite and League of Legends.

School officials said many of Northwood’s business concentrations, such as management information systems, operations and supply chain management, entertainment and sport promotion management include aspects of gaming, data and analytics.

"We are excited to offer this emerging sport to Northwood students from all majors," said Andy Cripe, Northwood’s dean of student affairs. "We see the value in creating a team that helps our students develop communication skills, highlights teamwork and fosters safe and healthy competition."

Northwood is renovating a 2,000-square foot gaming center on the university’s campus to create a state-of-the-art gaming environment for the new team.

The university is accepting applications for an eSports head coach position. Click here to review the full job description.

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