Hampton, VA (Bryant & Stratton Communications) – Bryant & Stratton College announced today the athletics department is launching a competitive eSports program at the Hampton and Virginia Beach campuses starting in fall 2019.
Bryant & Stratton will be the sixth college in Virginia to offer eSports as part of the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE), which serves as the governing body to more than 100 colleges and universities, setting standards for eligibility and conduct for collegiate eSports.
The college plans to offer co-ed eSports teams that will hold full-size rosters. To compliment the program, the Hampton Campus plans to create a 500-square foot eSports Lab where the team will practice and compete. The lab will feature 15 high-end gaming computers, gaming bays, and consoles. The gaming center will be open to all students and staff during designated hours.
Bryant & Stratton will make eSports an official varsity sport by joining NACE and will offer scholarships to new and current students starting in 2019. Currently NACE member colleges support more than 1,500 student athletes and offer more than $9 million in eSports scholarship and aid.eSports are multiplayer video games played online against other NACE colleges across the country in nine games such as League of Legends, Counter Strike, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Paladins, Rocket League and Smite.
“We are excited to be the first college on the Peninsula to offer eSports as part of NACE,” eSports Head Coach James Claiborne said. “Competitive gaming has had incredible growth around the world and now many colleges, both large and small, are embracing eSports. We anticipate the addition of eSports to more of our campuses in the next few years.”
Bryant & Stratton has been working with 7 Cities Gaming League, Virginia’s first and only eSports league, and one of just a few eSports consultants in the state. The group’s mission is to help grow the Hampton Roads eSports program to a national standard and connect young gaming enthusiasts to college and local businesses through eSports. The group aspires for Hampton Roads to be an eSports destination for tourism, college students, and millennial career seekers in the gaming industry.
“Through eSports, students learn team building and problem-solving tactics, in addition to attention to detail and experience working virtually, which are essential skills for success in the classroom and eventually the workforce,” Claiborne said. “This program mirrors the college’s Career LifePrep® experience to help prepare students for every step in their personal, academic, and career journey.”
The addition of eSports brings the Bryant & Stratton Virginia athletic department to a combined eight NJCAA and NACE scholarship-offering sports.