Once upon a time a parent could tell their child that they were wasting their time playing that silly video game and be right.
Those days appear to have passed.
ECPI University has announced that it will join the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), becoming the first in Hampton Roads to do so and competing in eSports against 87 other colleges and universities across the nation.
On June 22 and 23, the ECPI University Rams – as the team will be known – will hold tryouts for ECPI students. Each student who makes the team will receive a scholarship of anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000.
“ECPI University has a longstanding tradition of leading the way locally and nationally for non-traditional learning and success,” says team manager and ECPI University Director of Web Services Mike Glover. “It only makes sense that we would lead the way with the first eSports Varsity team in Hampton Roads.”
In the United States competitive eSports are growing at an exponential rate.
Once a way for youngsters to waste time in front of the television or computer, eSports are now spectator sports, having sold out venues like Madison Square Garden and the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
According to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal, revenue from eSports is expected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020.
“Given its worldwide growth, it only makes sense that collegiate teams would then form and begin to compete,” Glover said. “We look forward to competing against all of these other forward-thinking schools across the country.”
A study by Newzoo – a global market intelligence partner of choice for any company with an interest in games, mobile, and eSports – found that the worldwide eSports audience will hit about 380 million this year, an increase of 13.5 percent over 2017.
Last year there were 588 major eSports events, generating an estimated $59 million in ticket sales.
Student tryouts will be conducted on June 22 from 1-5 p.m., and June 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5555 Greenwich Road, Room 352 in Virginia Beach.
For information on taking part in the tryouts, students can contact ECPI University Director of Communications David Brandt at 757-213-3613 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.