In 2014, a group of students formed the WKU League of Legends club out of their love and passion for the game. The students petitioned the student body for support and as a result the Student Government Association wrote a resolution supporting the creation of a varsity eSports program. The resolution passed and due to forward thinking, the WKU varsity eSports program was officially sanctioned by past President, Dr. Gary Ransdell in 2016.
Our first year in competition, 2016 -2017, as a varsity was fairly successful. We now have two League of Legends teams and an Overwatch team. However, we do not have enough funding to pay for our membership in the National Association for Collegiate eSports (NACE) this year and need your help. Currently there are 37 collegiate teams in the NACE (the eSports version of the NCAA) and its membership is growing. We also need team jerseys and additional electronic equipment, as well as ergonomic gaming chairs. Sponsors want to see our facilities before they become involved and we can’t provide them what they need until we get funding.
WKU eSports competitions are broadcast live internationally over Twitch.tv (http://twitch.tv/wkuesports).
We have played Clemson University, the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, University of Notre Dame, Murray State and Kansas State, as well as others.
Our Murray State match was televised on campus with a sizeable crowd in DSU and well as viewers online.
The program has international reach and promotes student and community engagement. We have had more than 120 students from around the world that have expressed interest in coming to WKU to be on the eSports team.
1. Where will the money go?
$2500 is needed for the Collegiate Association membership dues
$3000 is needed for gaming chairs (players sit for hours as they practice and compete, ergonomic chairs are a must) $175 buys 1 gaming chair
$1000 is needed for additional web cams and mice. (Live streaming on Twitch.tv allows the team to get extra sponsors and fulfills the Twitch partnership requirements) $60 buys one gaming mouse or web cam.
$1000 is needed for team jerseys to represent WKU Varisty eSports in the community, on campus and in competitions (Jerseys can cost between $50 to $75 each)
2. Why is eSports important to WKU?
Collegiate eSports is growing rapidly. The students that are active in gaming are underepresented in terms of choices for engagement in University sports. eSports opens a new world for these students to become active on campus and represent their school! Academically, participation in eSports has shown to improve critical thinking and the ability to work in teams. Both of these characteristics will add value to WKU students as they enter the job market. Also, professional eSports is growing, resulting in many employment opportunities for majors across campus in the gaming industry.
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