Lakeland’s co-ed team will be a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports, which serves as the governing body to more than 150 colleges and universities and sets standards for eligibility and conduct for collegiate eSports.
ESports are multiplayer video games played online competing against other NACE colleges across the country in both a fall and spring season. Lakeland’s team will compete in games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Paladins, Rocket League, Smite, Fortnite, CSGO, Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and League of Legends. Additional games will be added in the future based on student interest and additions made by NACE.
“Competitive gaming is one of the nation’s fastest-growing activities, and Lakeland is excited to formally add a team to our athletic department,” David Simon Jr., vice president for campus life at Lakeland, said in a statement.
Lakeland will create a 3,000-square-foot eSports arena on the southwest portion of its campus, where the team will practice and compete. The arena will feature 18 gaming stations, six consoles, a lounge area and space for spectators to enjoy the action. The arena will also be open to all Lakeland students during designated hours for intramural programs and individual student use.
Lakeland currently has an eSports club with more than 30 students involved, and that interest helped fuel Lakeland’s decision to create a varsity team and an eSports facility. Playing eSports can help improve communication, teamwork, social and analytical skills, critical thinking, mental toughness and determination, Simon said.
For more information, visit lakelandmuskies.com.