Husson University recently celebrated the official opening of its new esports facility on January 20.
“Esports are an exciting new addition to the world of intercollegiate competition where players compete using video games,” said Dr. Lynne Coy-Ogan, Husson University’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “These competitions can include team-oriented multiplayer games as well as single player contests. Game genres include virtual reconstructions of physical sports, survival battle royales, and real-time strategy. These esports competitions take place primarily over the internet, but there will be additional opportunities for our students to compete in person.”
Husson will be competing against other colleges and universities in North America, including the U.S. and Canada, during the spring semester. The University’s first intercollegiate matchup took place on January 22 when Husson’s “League of Legends” varsity team competed online against the University of Toronto.
The University invested approximately $170,000 to renovate Room 122 in the Darling Learning Center and purchase the necessary equipment so it could serve as Husson University’s new Esports Center. This Center is where Husson students will be able to access the technology they’ll need to practice and compete.
“This new Center will be a great way to introduce students to possible career paths in interactive gaming,” continued Coy-Ogan. “Education here at Husson University that would support opportunities in this growing industry include our integrated technology and sport management programs.”
Esports provides students with the opportunity to sharpen their communication abilities as they work together in teams to win competitive matches. Participating on these teams requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity.
In addition, esports enable students to develop STEM skills since there is so much technology associated with the process. Husson’s esports team members will need to analyze statistical game data and adopt strategies that reflect their findings.
“At Husson, we see this esports initiative as another way we can help ensure students are job ready after graduation,” said Joel Madru, Husson University’s esports coordinator. “This activity will provide valuable teamwork experiences where students can both succeed and learn from challenges.”
Students who are members of Husson University’s esports teams agree.
“Participating in esports requires important skills like communication, delegation, trusting your fellow team member, and adaptive thinking when initial strategies need to be altered to fit the rapidly changing nature of an ‘Overwatch’ match. All of these skills will be put to good use when I work in a pharmacy with fellow employees in a healthcare environment,” said Maddy Gervais, a student pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University.
Husson University has joined two conferences that offer intercollegiate esports competition. They are the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) and College League of Legends.