WAYNE – With construction on the “Den” recently starting in late March for eSports at Wayne State College, students at home will be able to get a taste of the newest club program in the month of April.
Wayne State College eSports will fall under the club sports category and it’ll be student-interest based. WSC will be joining the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) as the closest eSports varsity program would be Midland University (different conference) in Fremont.
John Schwarte is the Campus Rec Coordinator at Wayne State College. He oversees intramurals, club sports and the up and coming eSports program. Schwarte explains eSports.
“Esports is your video gaming to make it simple,” said Schwarte. “So, there’s competitive leagues and there’s recreational leagues and we’re focusing on the competitiveness of video gaming essentially.”
Schwarte has held his position since August of 2018.
Under the ECAC WSC will compete in eight gaming titles being League of Legends, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., Rocket League, Madden, FIFA, Hearthstone and Overwatch.
Wayne State will compete on PCs only but will be targeting the most popular games on the market currently.
About a year and a half ago, Director of Athletics at WSC Mike Powicki attended a NCAA conference and eSports was a topic of interest. Powicki brought it to the attention of Schwarte that President Marysz Rames wanted it to be a top priority.
“Once we created a proposal, we submitted a rough estimate budget on the projections of cost and everything,” Schwarte added. “We actually planned it to start in 2021 but the President (Rames) was so interested in it that she said, ‘no we’ll make it work to start the fall of 2020’.”
The “Den” eSports Arena is currently being constructed in the old ‘game room’ in the lower area of the Kanter Student Center. The room will be divided in half between eSports and the mailroom.
The room will include 12 gaming stations and the eSports club program is finalizing their hire of a grad assistant coach.
“Since we just started construction it’s my hope that we have it done at the earliest July,” Schwarte mentioned. “But, obviously with all of this going on right now, if we get shut down, hopefully it’s done by August. But I would like it ready to go by July.”
Current WSC students and graduates with IM accounts may sign up for a pair of eSport tournaments. A Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2v2 gunfight is scheduled for Monday, April 13 while the NBA 2K20 (1v1) will last from Monday, April 20 – Friday, April 24 with registration deadlines being Thursday, April 9.
Students can sign up on imleagues.com.
WSC is looking to shine the light on eSports to show it’s much more than just playing video games.
“It’s a culture and we have academic standards they’re going to have to abide by,” said Schwarte. “We’re trying to treat it as much as a varsity sport that you see in athletics but also showing that these kids compete too and this is the next big thing.”
Like WSC Campus Recreation on Twitter for more information. Also, contact Schwarte by email email@example.com or by phone at 402-375-7481 with any questions.