- Officials say this is to adapt to new demands for esports
- The university plans to quickly expand its program
- Students will have the opportunity to work as coaches and pursue careers in gaming
Pace University, an American educational institution, announced it is launching its first esports program in January 2022.
The University’s New Program
Starting early next year, Pace University will have an official esports program, that will feature the development of a dedicated esports and gaming center on its New York City campus. The program will build on top of existing student-led efforts and will feature teams in many games, including League of Legends, VALORANT, and Super Smash Brothers. This program will also become the 15th sport for the Pace Athletics division at the university. The new esports venture recently created an official Twitch channel.
President of Pace University Marvin Krislov said that the institution is committed to innovative programs that prepare its students for the jobs and the world of the future. He explained that the new esports program is a response to a rapidly growing demand. It aims to provide the university’s esports athletes the chance to build skills that all sports require: teamwork, strategy, leadership, discipline.
Pace University Director of Athletics Mark Brown said that the process to bring esports to the institution took a few years. He explained that esports and gaming, in general, are a large part of their students' lives, and he is excited to launch this opportunity for them.
Pace University’s Future Plans
It seems esports will play a key role in university sports as a whole. Pace isn’t the only higher educational institution to launch its own esports division. Many others have already done the same, like The University of York, which started an esports studio in October.
Pace University stated in the release that they plan to develop teams in other games as well. Apex Legends and Rocket League are two potential titles, that could soon see the university field rosters. Pace University teams will compete in existing collegiate esports championships in the United States, which include the NACE Starleague and the College League of Legends league.
Also according to the release, the university will provide students alternative opportunities for their exchange of experiences. Students will have the opportunities to work as student coaches for the esports teams, and also be able to pursue an academic and professional career in gaming.
As more and more universities sign esports teams, we may soon see a well-developed field of varsity sports, akin to what are today college football and baseball.