Colleges explore esports opportunities and others face budget cuts

Jul 31, 2020 by

Some colleges with established sports programs are using the play restrictions required by the pandemic as an opportunity to explore the potential profitability of esports competitions.

Some colleges with established sports programs are using the play restrictions required by the pandemic as an opportunity to explore the potential profitability of esports competitions.

Greta Anderson –
University of California, Irvine
Students, faculty, staff members and guests use gaming equipment at the University of California, Irvine’s esports arena before the coronavirus pandemic.

While the coronavirus pandemic has caused uncertainty about whether college athletics programs will be able to compete this fall, it has also spurred some colleges to more aggressively market their competitive esports teams. But the pandemic has also stalled plans by some institutions to expand or create esports programs.

At a time when in-person gatherings and high-contact sports are discouraged by public health experts, esports can easily operate in a remote setting. All that’s needed for students or fans to watch or participate in esports in most cases is a computer and internet connection.

The cancellation of spring athletics and the postponement of the fall season by many intercollegiate athletic conferences have sparked more interest in esports from institutions that sponsor strong traditional sports programs, said Michael Brooks, the executive director of the National Association of Collegiate Esports, or NACE, a nonprofit organization that provides resources, governance and competition structure for colleges with varsity esports teams or those looking to create one.

Source: Colleges explore esports opportunities and others face budget cuts

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