Graceland Executive Council today approved the addition of esports for the Lamoni, Iowa, campus for the 2018-19 school year. Graceland’s esports program will be housed under Student Life and will share space with Graceland Enactus in the Memorial Student Center as the effort gets up and going.
Jared Doty, Director for the Sandage Center of Free Enterprise at Graceland and advisor to Graceland’s Enactus team, will act as the advisor for Graceland’s new esports team.
“We are excited to offer another program that offers all students – regardless of gender or physical skill – a way to represent their school in a positive way,” said Doty.
Esports refers to competitive multiplayer video gaming, which have gained popularity since the turn of the century, attracting millions of viewers worldwide to the professional tournaments. Most recently, colleges have entered the esports arena, offering competitive teams that are attracting and competing for a new kind of student.
Currently, Iowa schools such as Grand View University, Morningside College, St. Ambrose University and Hawkeye Community College offer competitive esports for their students. Graceland will now join the trend, providing scrimmages with other schools, team-building exercises, attendance at esports tournaments and more.
"Graceland is a place where students from diverse interests can find community with others who share their interests," added Dave Schaal, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. "We’re thrilled that competitive gamers can soon play on a Graceland-sponsored team where they can compete, be part of a team, and have fun as part of their Graceland experience."
Graceland will showcase a display on the new esports program at its booth at the Iowa State Fair this year. Stop by to learn more, and watch for more information on the new Graceland esports program.