Harrisburg University of Science and Technology has become the first Mid-Atlantic university, and the fiftieth nationwide in the States, to join the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE).
Harrisburg University will offer 15 full athletic scholarships in esports, thereby making it the university’s first varsity sport.
Eric Darr, President of Harrisburg University, commented: “We are a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) university with a student base that is driven by technology. Esports is by far our largest club on campus. The decision to create a varsity team and offer full esports scholarships was a logical and natural next step.”
Harrisburg University’s varsity esports team is on track to launch in autumn semester of 2018. The university is in the process of securing a locker room for the team and the club, whilst Harrisburg has also begun a search for a full-time coach.
Michael Brooks, Executive Director of NACE noted: “Our goal is to sponsor eSports programs on campuses with the same level of attention and support given to traditional athletics.
“We’re excited to have Harrisburg University join our roster as we continue to grow this program to offer students the opportunity to compete and engage with one another.”
Harrisburg University will reportedly offer League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone and NBA 2K as a part of its pilot program. “We are committed to making a large investment in the launch of this varsity team, while increasing esports exposure to our region,” added Darr.
The release also stated that ‘local and national partners who have agreed to sponsor the varsity team’, and that more details would be given on this in the near future.
Esports Insider says: Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania signing up makes it a milestone fifty universities committed to NACE. It’s also particularly notable for Harrisburg themselves that esports becomes the university’s first varsity sport, and 15 full scholarships is some initial commitment. Nice to see!