Indiana Tech eSports originally started on campus as a club sport in the 2015-16 academic year. Successful student engagement on campus resulted in the formation of an organization that has transformed into what is today the club program and will be varsity eSports. In year one as a club team, League of Legends was the only game played and consisted of 17 members on campus. For competition the League of Legends club team participated in CSL or the Collegiate Star League. The team competed against other colleges and universities all across the United States.
Team members were able to achieve a successful season of play in both the division two conference and division three. The division two team (Team Sword) had a final record of 10-4 while advancing to the second round of tournament play before losing. The division three squad (Team Shield) also has a successful season finishing 5-4 and also advanced to the second round of tournament play before also losing.
This year’s club team (2016-2017) consists of 19 members that play both League of Legends and Hearthstone. Tech’s League of Legends team will again take part in CSL’s divisions two & three. Hearthstone members on the other hand are participating in TESPA’s Colligate Hearthstone Championships that also competes against other colleges across the United States.
Realizing how big eSports can be at the collegiate level for students, Indiana Tech decided to take the next step by offering eSport scholarships to future students who play these games. The overall plan is to begin with League of Legends and Hearthstone for the first couple years and then add other games that fit the program’s needs. There has also been a call to explore console eSports as well in the upcoming years.
To go with scholarships, Indiana Tech has also invested in its facilities to accommodate the eSports program. A vacant department office space has been transformed into a 20 player-gaming station arena. This arena is equipped with DX Racer gaming chairs and custom built gaming tables, and will eventually have twenty computers to complete the facility.
As the eSports collegiate scene grows, Indiana Tech believes the eSports program will grow as well and hopes to continue to be a leader in the eSports collegiate scene. The NAC eSports is one way Indiana Tech has solidified itself in collegiate eSports as this also continues to see growth and excellent potential. This collegiate association is currently made up of twenty five colleges that will all compete with one another. As a founding member, Tech hopes to add more colleges while continuously improving the NAC eSports experience in terms of conference structure, rules and regulations, scholarships and a final tournament that rewards students.
The future is bright for Indiana Tech eSports!