SXU Launches Esports Program
CHICAGO, Nov. 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Saint Xavier University (SXU) has launched its first-ever esports program, which began competition this fall for the 2022-23 season. Esports, or electronic sports, are multiplayer, organized games played competitively, and SXU is among the first colleges in Chicago to roll out organized competitive leagues.
Esports, which can be traced back to 1972 when gaming consoles became common, are being launched at an increasing rate in colleges across the United States and are quickly becoming a normal part of campus athletics.
“Launching one of the first esports programs in Chicago is demonstrative of SXU’s commitment to innovation and has both strengthened and diversified our athletic portfolio. Collegiate esports focus on inclusivity and bring together a diverse group of students who may not have otherwise had opportunities to connect with each other,” said Matt Cunningham, director of Athletics.
The SXU esports program, part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), has a structure that mirrors that of traditional collegiate sports and the team currently competes in five titles: League of Legends, Overwatch, Valorant, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. With 40 competitors in just the first semester of competition, the team is rapidly growing.
Led by head coach Lemar Daniels, who has several years of esports experience and multiple team accomplishments under his leadership, the team already has a series of victories and plans to continue their winning tradition.
In addition to being a unique part of collegiate sports, the esports team at SXU provides an array of opportunities for the students, including the opportunity to gain and enhance real-world skills through work with broadcasting, production, social media and team management. Student-athletes gain experience in collaboration, team-building, problem-solving, communication, leadership and critical thinking.
The esports industry is expected to see growth of nearly 30 million participants throughout the rest of 2022 and will continue to rise in future years. Daniels, who is currently recruiting for the 2023-24 season, looks forward to the future of SXU esports and hopes to cultivate a culture of leadership and success with a focus on ensuring diversity throughout the program.
“As competitive gaming continues to grow, we are building the foundation for high-level competition in collegiate esports while delivering the SXU promise to educate for competence, character and career success,” Daniels said.
Saint Xavier University was founded in 1846 by the Sisters of Mercy and is a private, Catholic, four-year, coeducational institution that provides a transformative educational experience to more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students who are prepared to become compassionate leaders in their field of study and their communities. As a mission-driven, student-centered institution, Saint Xavier educates for competence, character and career success, with program offerings through our College of Arts and Sciences, Graham School of Management and School of Nursing and Health Sciences. Recognizing Saint Xavier’s excellence in education, U.S. News & World Report has ranked SXU consistently among the best colleges in the Midwest.
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