By Mia Sansanelli
LIU Post welcomes eSports and one of its most popular games, “League of Legends,” to campus this semester.
The program has gained so much public attention that university athletic departments have started to offer it. Although it is an entirely new concept for LIU Post, Athletic Director Debbie DeJong said the school will follow what other conferences are doing. eSports will compete in the same NCAA conference as the rest of LIU Post’s traditional fall athletic teams.
DeJong said that the eSports program will provide “the non- traditional student athlete” with “a way to compete.”
The program is new and therefore will start out small, with no scholarship money. However, DeJong is positive that since the school already knows that there are students interested, that scholarships will be a future element to the program.
The Korean eSports Association, first launched in 2000, and started to grow in popularity around 2010. The purpose of the association was to bring skilled, eager gamers to a larger platform where organized competitions could take place, hopefully working towards becoming a nationally recognized event.
eSports, as it is commonly known, stands for “electronic sports,” and provides an opportunity for gamers to connect and partake in online gaming competitions.
The popularity in competitive and high-level gaming at the collegiate level caught the attention of two students taking part in the “Gamers: Design Your Own Video Game” program at the Summer Honors Institute at LIU Post during the week of June 8, 2018. Matt Linn and Mark Mitri both agreed that eSports will give college students a great opportunity and is something “out of the ordinary” that may help people find their interests.
As for the potential success of the new program, Linn said that it really depends on individual skill level. Mitri agreed and added that the effort put in is also a variable, but overall there’s an equal opportunity for every player.
Neither student said that they would consider joining an eSports program when they get to college. Mitri and Linn believe that it’s “not particularly smart to join now” since it’s so early in its development at most schools.