Campus Recreation will soon be offering esports, a club where students can participate in electronic, multiplayer gaming competition, to encourage wellness across the SFA community.

SFA Campus Recreation wanted to provide a sport that reaches an audience of students who want to pursue a career in sports marketing or who have a passion for video games. They wanted to create a group that could encourage a diverse audience and help students succeed in their future career.

“Professional esports is a vibrant industry with employment opportunities, broadcasting, sports marketing and advertising,” Kathryn Blevins, coordinator of promotions/sponsorships for Campus Rec, said. “This provides students with opportunities to gain relevant experience in the area, like potential internships, classes and student jobs. Three student interns are currently working on esports projects through Campus Recreation, gaining sports business, sports marketing and graphic design experience.”

In 2017, seven colleges and universities had a varsity esports team; but, in 2018, the number jumped to 63 because it was wanted by popular demand of students.

Sports Clubs and Camps Coordinator Trace Seaton encourages students to join because of the relationships they could build by being a part of the team. By esports coming to SFA, the goal is to start a conversation across campus, as well as provide a physical space and opportunities to engage in an organized team.

“I would encourage students to join because I know it will be a fun, rewarding experience,” Seaton said. “The opportunity to meet new people, develop friendships, learn new skills, compete at a higher level and do all of this while playing their favorite video games will be intriguing to many students. This will be a very exciting and rewarding club in which to be involved.”

Seaton also has a lot of goals for the club and is hoping the new club is a hit, so students could have the possibility to compete at a national level.

“The short-term goals for the esports club, from my perspective, would be to see the team join an esports league and be competitive in the region,” Seaton said. “I would like to see the club build an inclusive community where students can come together around a shared interest. I would like to see esports provide students with skills they will use after college as well, such as leadership, communication [and] team work, as our clubs are student led. A longer-term goal would be to see the team competing for and winning national championships.”

The first interest meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Feb. 6, at the Baker Pattillo Student Center tiered classroom and will be live streamed live through Twitch.tv.

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