When you think of college athletics, you may envision football, basketball or soccer. But, have you ever considered competitive gaming? It's happening and our friends at Northwood University are starting an innovative esports program this fall. Andy Cripe , dean of student affairs, and Cody Elsen, head coach of the esports program at Northwood, joined Tati Amare to discuss the program.
When describing the esports team, Elsen said it is gaming at its highest skills level. It's not just playing a video game, there are teams, strategy building and competitiveness at the esporting events. Cripe said these reasons are just a few reasons why it is going to be part of Northwood's athletic program. He said the university prides itself on creating leaders, and building leadership skills are a big part of esports, just as it is for any other sport.
Cripe also said the university will be launching a cyber security program this fall that perfectly ties into the esport program. Elsen explained how a majority of games are played on a mouse and keyboard instead of a handheld console. Due to the extraordinary technology in the computers compared to video game consoles, training and competition will be done on computers. Also, training will be done on campus at a 2,500 square-foot facility that is being built this summer.
When it comes to competition, most of the esport games are done online; however, the finals are in-person. Participants will travel all over the nation to various colleges and universities to compete. This a varisty sport, not a club, and the university is a member of National Association of Collegiate Esports, the governing body for collegiate varsity esport gaming. Elsen said he follows the association's rules for not just gaming but in recruiting as well, which he said he is currently doing now. He also hopes to get more women in competitive esports. There are also scholarships that can be obtained through esports as well.
To learn more about esports and Northwood University, visit its website: www.northwood.edu
This segment was sponsored by Northwood University.