Seattle-based University of Washington has launched its competitive collegiate esports program under the moniker of UW Esports.
The announcement comes after a strong push from the student-led Gaming Association to recognise its esports program and endorse its teams.
UW Esports will recruit for four teams across Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Super Smash Bros. to compete across leagues and tournaments in the collegiate circuit. According to UW recruitment forms, the League of Legends and Smash teams, in particular, will be kitted out with UW Esports jerseys, access to practice spaces, and promotion through university social media channels.
Support infrastructure will also be put in place, with UW Esports looking to hire a team manager to oversee the operation of all four teams, a multimedia and outreach coordinator for socials and community management, as well as a broadcast coordinator to cover UW Esports matches.
The unveiling of the official esports program comes after the opening of the University of Washington’s Esports Arena & Gaming Lounge in April this year, which includes 40 gaming computers, a casting station for live streaming and two virtual reality systems.
Esports Insider says: Seeing a college recognise and support an esports program is always a positive for developing joe-to-pro pathways. The fact that the university is committing serious dollars, infrastructure and support staff including content and community management sets a great example for what student groups can achieve when they put in the time to build a grassroots movement while lobbying their university.