Opinion: Sinclair Should Have an eSports Team

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Sinclair Community College should have an eSports team because it would not only give our college a competitive edge but help fill in the gap left in sports due to the pandemic.

 Multiple colleges and high schools across the country have rapidly been joining esports leagues prior to the virus. Why not join now, especially as the benefits of joining are numerous?

To begin, let’s answer some basic questions.

What is esports? 

Esports is professional, organized and competitive gaming. It is a billion-dollar industry with millions of active fans. 

Live tournaments through the live-streaming service Twitch and national television draw gigantic crowds. For instance, the 2017 Nintendo World Championship was live-streamed online via YouTube and Twitch, as well as simulcasted on Disney XD’s “D|XP” block. In the same year, Disney and Blizzard Entertainment announced a multi-year deal for coverage of Blizzard’s Overwatch esports

What games are played as esports

There are many different games that are played professionally, so it would be very difficult to name them all. The most common are Fortnite, Rocket League, Call of Duty, Madden NFL, League of Legends, Apex Legends, Super Smash Brothers, and Mario Kart. 

Why do people enjoy watching esports? 

The same reasons why they enjoy watching regular sports. Viewers like to see players push their skills to the maximum as the hyper sensation of a giant arena eggs them on. There is a hint of living vicariously, and most importantly, the sense of community.

Why do people play esports? 

It’s thrilling to compete against others and it feels rewarding to be recognized for a skill you have. If playing professionally, there’s a lot of money to be made. Careers can live on past a tournament with the right fan base. 

Ninja, legal name Tyler Blevins, has a net worth of $15 million dollars, simply from being a famous Fornite streamer.

Why would a college benefit from having an esports team? 

There are already 175 colleges who are members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). Those schools have coaches and athletic scholarships for esports. Three hundred fourteen schools hold Tespa chapters. This allows them to compete in Tespa leagues and give gamers the chance to win scholarships in prize money. The niche pool of eSport players makes us an ideal asset for colleges. In turn, being a part of official leagues will help draw us in. 

The first official intercollegiate gaming organization in the world, Collegiate Starleague (CSL), began in 2009 with 25 schools participating in their inaugural competition. However, this is still a very new field. There were only 73 colleges with varsity esports teams in 2018. 

The only colleges in Ohio with eSports teams are Ashland University, Bowling Green State University, Cincinnati Christian University, Defiance College, Kent State, Miami University, Tiffin University, and the University of Akron. This is the time to join, to be early for history. It’s hard to get more exclusive than eight.

Why would a college want to begin a new activity during a pandemic?

Firstly, eSports are cheap in the sense that most players already own all the equipment they need. Of course, having a formal team space in school would be wonderful. However, right now, in-person meeting is dangerous, nonetheless.

Secondly, a good profit could be made from such a new area of college sports in the long run. Thirdly, it is a distinctive reason for new students to be interested in a college. The marketability of such a niche sport being provided will help enrollment. Think of graduating high school students who tour Sinclair and see an eSports lounge. The excitement around something so rare cannot be understated.

Fourthly, as mentioned above, meeting in person is dangerous right now, sports are suffering. 

This could be just what we needed: a safe, yet intriguing addition.

What do esports look like? (Source: Youtube/CNBC International)

LeAnne McPherson
Multimedia Director

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