Competitive Esports programs are growing in popularity among university students and those at the University of Michigan are joining in the “game.”. Your student will be able to participate via a new partnership between Recreational Sports and a student organization previously known as Arbor Esports.
A fall competition schedule begins September 19.
Esports is a multiplayer video game competition played in a team format. Games are primarily played on PCs, and competitions can take place virtually through an online connection. Competitions are often streamed on websites for spectator viewing.
Arbor Esports, founded by Michigan alumni, Tony Yuan, has grown and flourished over the years tracking success with top teams in League of Legends, Counterstrike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), Rocket League, Hearthstone and more. The transition into the Recreational Sports department will give the organization a boost of support it was needing, according to Yuan.
“We made this change because we heard our teams asking for support with travel, coaching, and events. As a sponsored student organization we will be able to provide vehicles for events, and funds for team development as well as have additional resources to make our events just that much better,” said Michigan Esports officer, Avi Lessure.
Alex Downs is a student coordinator for the esports program. For him, the University’s commitment to esports is a recognition of their community and a strategy for supporting students’ overall well-being.
“This sponsorship is exciting because competing in esports isn’t just a hobby for some students. It’s a passion. A passion that many students on campus share. A passion that relies on health, wellness, teamwork and communication. The university is endorsing the hard work of alumni and the campus community. That kind of support is incredibly valuable to those students who are truly dedicated to their craft,” Downs said.
Members of Michigan Esports plan to spend fall semester welcoming new students into the program. With limited in-person events and activities on campus available, getting involved in esports seems like a well-timed opportunity, said Mike Widen, Director of Recreational Sports.
"Esports is growing in popularity all over the world, and we are seeing a significant growth in the number of student Esports groups who want to represent their respective college or university, the same way as in traditional sports," Widen said. “In many of the same ways we build community among our students through traditional recreation programs, esports provides that same opportunity for community building among students through their common interest in gaming. This new program will allow us to reach students who are not engaging with our programs and facilities otherwise.”
Upcoming Competitions include:
● Sept. 19 - 20, 2020 | 2020 HUE Invitational: Overwatch and League of Legends
● Sept. 22 - 23, 2020 | UCLA Esports Summer Invitational - Overwatch
● Sept. 29 - 30, 2020 | UCLA Esports Summer Invitational - League of Legends
If your student wants to connect with Michigan Esports players or find a community around the games played, they should visit the Michigan Esports webpage. Interested individuals can also keep track of streamed matches on Twitch and other events on campus and online.