MUNCIE — Ball State University announced Wednesday it's creating an official varsity esports team.
During this upcoming fall semester, 11 other members of the Mid-American Conference will join the newly created Esports Collegiate Conference, an independent entity from the MAC.
“We are excited to expand Ball State’s esports presence and to join our fellow Mid-American Conference institutions in this new competitive arena of Esports Collegiate,” Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns said in a press release. “Our expansion into this dynamic domain of esports is another way in which our University is providing our students innovative opportunities to learn and to make connections with their peers and within the community. This initiative will elevate the academic experiences that we offer across multiple disciplines.”
Cardinal Esports, a club team at Ball State, has about 500 members, according to the press release.
The team will be apart of the university's College of Communication, Information, and Media, according to the release. The university will begin searching for a coach for the team soon.
The team will also help enhance academics across several disciplines, including digital sports production, business, and more, Paaige Turner, Dean of Ball State's CCIM, said in the press release.
“A recent report found that esports jobs grew 184.74% during the first half of 2019 compared to the first half of 2018,” Turner said.“This is a sport that is spreading across the globe. Our team will make Ball State even more attractive to high achieving students around the nation.”
There will be fall and spring seasons, according to the release. Members will compete in games like Overwatch and League of Legends during the spring season. Rocket League, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros., Madden NFL, and FIFA are being considered for the fall season. A champion will be named for each game and get an automatic bid to the national postseason tournament.