Pace University is launching its official Esportsprogram, featuring the development of a dedicated esports and gaming center onits New York City campus. Starting in January 2022, and building off ofexisting student-led efforts, the varsity esports program will compete acrossmultiple game titles, starting League of Legends™, Valorant™, and Super SmashBrothers™ teams, becoming Pace Athletics’ 15th sport.
Both League of Legends™ and Valorant™ are under theRiot Games umbrella and feature strategic five-versus-five play. Super SmashBrothers™ is published by Nintendo. The Setter squads will compete in theCollege League of Legends (CLoL) spring season and the National Association ofCollegiate Esports (NACE) Starleague. Pace will add varsity Rocket League andApex Legends teams over the course of spring 2022.
“Pace is committed to innovative programs that prepareour students for the jobs—and the world—of the future,” said Marvin Krislov,Pace’s president. “Our new varsity esports program responds to rapidly growingdemand and will give our student athletes the chance to build the skills allsports demand: teamwork, strategy, leadership, discipline, and so much more.”
“We have been working to bring Esports to Pace for thelast few years,” said Pace University Director of Athletics Mark Brown.“Esports and gaming are an undeniable part of today's cultural landscape and akey part of our student's lives. We couldn't be more excited to launch thisopportunity for our students.”
Brown noted over the past decade, esports hasattracted 300 million players and spectators worldwide. Given the recentcultural shift towards gaming - especially among the college-age demographic -it was a natural decision for Pace University to invest in a program that willprovide relevant competitive, curricular and vocational opportunities tocurrent and future students, according to the AD.
In addition to being able to try out for Pace’svarsity teams, students will have the opportunity to serve as student-coaches, bepart of a large recreational gaming community, and pursue academic andvocational opportunities in gaming.