MSOE launches competitive esports program
Esports are taking the world by storm, and Milwaukee School of Engineering is now the latest university to offer a competitive esports program.
At MSOE, esports is a club sport and teams will scrimmage and compete against colleges nationwide in sanctioned tournaments for major video games such as League of Legends, Hearthstone, Dota 2, Overwatch, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. Because it is a club sport, MSOE will regulate student eligibility and participation.
“Video gaming has long had the stereotype of being a solitary activity, but that is no longer the case. Thanks to technological advancements, the esports industry has grown exponentially and millions of people worldwide consider themselves gamers,” said Kip Kussman, dean of students. “Esports are played at every level, and many of our students played in esports leagues in high school.”
Esports leagues are structured much like basketball, hockey or any other traditional sport. And just like other extracurricular activities—especially those that are team based—esports is another way to help students develop their soft skills.
“Team work, showing dedication, time management and social engagement are all important to character development,” Kussman said.
The Kern Center will serve as home base for esports with a designated space and gaming setups for team members to practice. Students in the Esports Club also will manage team logistics with their staff advisors, Michael Hinder and Erick Johnson.
Esports have become so popular, even sports news outlets like ESPN and Fox Sports have dedicated sections of their websites to their coverage. Professional athletes are personally investing in teams, and the NBA established the 2K League. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of 17 professional basketball organizations sponsoring a team. “We’re excited to provide this opportunity,” Kussman said. “More than 100 students tried out for teams, and 80 students qualified. They are practicing and preparing for their first tournament.”