Husson University recentlycelebrated the official opening of its new esports facility on January 20.

“Esports are an exciting newaddition to the world of intercollegiate competition where players competeusing video games,” said Dr. Lynne Coy-Ogan, Husson University’s senior vicepresident for academic affairs and provost. “These competitions can includeteam-oriented multiplayer games as well as single player contests. Game genresinclude virtual reconstructions of physical sports, survival battle royales,and real-time strategy. These esports competitions take place primarily overthe internet, but there will be additional opportunities for our students tocompete in person.”

Husson will be competing againstother colleges and universities in North America, including the U.S. andCanada, during the spring semester. The University’s first intercollegiatematchup took place on January 22 when Husson’s “League of Legends” varsity teamcompeted online against the University of Toronto.

The University investedapproximately $170,000 to renovate Room 122 in the Darling Learning Center andpurchase the necessary equipment so it could serve as Husson University’s newEsports Center. This Center is where Husson students will be able to access thetechnology they’ll need to practice and compete.

“This new Center will be a great wayto introduce students to possible career paths in interactive gaming,”continued Coy-Ogan. “Education here at Husson University that would supportopportunities in this growing industry include our integrated technology andsport management programs.”

Esports provides students with theopportunity to sharpen their communication abilities as they work together inteams to win competitive matches. Participating on these teams requirescritical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.

In addition, esports enable studentsto develop STEM skills since there is so much technology associated with theprocess. Husson’s esports team members will need to analyze statistical gamedata and adopt strategies that reflect their findings.

“At Husson, we see this esportsinitiative as another way we can help ensure students are job ready aftergraduation,” said Joel Madru, Husson University’s esports coordinator. “Thisactivity will provide valuable teamwork experiences where students can bothsucceed and learn from challenges.”

Students who are members of HussonUniversity’s esports teams agree.

“Participating in esports requiresimportant skills like communication, delegation, trusting your fellow teammember, and adaptive thinking when initial strategies need to be altered to fitthe rapidly changing nature of an ‘Overwatch’ match. All of these skills willbe put to good use when I work in a pharmacy with fellow employees in ahealthcare environment,” said Maddy Gervais, a student pursuing a Doctor ofPharmacy degree at the University.

Husson University has joined two conferencesthat offer intercollegiate esports competition. They are the Eastern CollegiateAthletic Conference (ECAC) and College League of Legends