Competitive online gaming is coming to Fort Scott Community College as an extra curricular activity.
eSports is competitive tournaments of video games, especially among professional gamers, according to dictionary.com.
“Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers: Fortnight, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL, to name a few,” according to the FSCC website. “These gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online. Streaming services like Twitch allow viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time, and this is typically where popular gamers build up their fandoms” (Willingham, A. 2018).”
“Esports is considered a varsity sport, similar to our other athletic teams,” said Tom Havron, FSCC Vice President of Students and Athletic Director. “Our students will be developing valuable traits during their time with the team, but there is not a specific major that the students must strive for. One person might want to be a nursing major, while another student might want to look into a John Deere technician major. Esports will not limit them to what they want to do professionally, but will give them an avenue to better experience college through connecting them with other students that have similar interest and providing them a path to be a part of something special.”
Students will be required to retain a 2.0 GPA during their time in the extra curricular activity, Havron said. Additional requirements may be added by the coach as they deem necessary in the recruitment of students.
“FSCC will be offering the following to students who are interested in becoming a Gaming Greyhound,” according to its website:
- Books and Tuition scholarship for 15 credit hours
- Private gaming area for practicing and competing
- Travel for competitions
- Networking with other gamers, spectators, and possible sponsors
- A coach to lead them to victory
FSCC will be competing in the games League of Legends and Overwatch, with the possibility for more games in the near future.”
Attracting students to FSCC and possible scholarship opportunities are the motivation behind the addition to the college.
“We believe that eSports is going to be a very popular activity for us on-campus,” Havron said. “Our hope is that we will attract students to attend FSCC that may not have thought of us as a destination before we had eSports.”
“In addition to adding new students, we believe that having this sport will help us provide something new on campus that will further diversify our student body.”
“Finally, we have already been contacted by four-year institutions that also have eSports that are looking for new students. We believe that the program is going to open up new scholarship opportunities to our students that they would not have had before.”
A coach will be needed for eSports and FSCC will be recruiting one in the coming days.
” We currently have admissions and the VP of Students recruiting the team as we search for someone to lead the program,” Havron said.
“As with any activity, practice is going to help the students become better at their craft,” he said. ” In this case, more hands-on time with the game is going to improve their skill level.
The coach will also be responsible for:
- recruiting and retaining students for the eSports program
- coordinating off-season, practice and competition schedules
- assisting with team travel when necessary
- running camps, clinics, and promotional events
- pursuing sponsorship opportunities within the eSports business world
- ensuring team compliance with all league, conference, and institutional rules and regulations
- continuously ensuring personal behavior and program reputation are in alignment with the institution values and brand.”
Many high schools in the region are adding eSports, Havron said. “Being a casual gamer is also an option. There are many competitions that can be seen on the internet, and students should find the game that they are most interested in and try to advance their skills. If prospective students have any questions, they are more than welcome to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be able to assist.”