The University of Utah is set to become a trailblazer when it comes to Power Five schools.
This month, the university announced it will become the first Power Five school to launch a varsity esports program. That means egaming is now a scholarship sport at Utah, with other schools like Robert Morris and Miami (Ohio) jumping in on the new trend early.
“Esports has had a dramatic rise in popularity in the U.S. over the last few years – especially on college campuses,” said A.J. Dimick, director of operations for Utah’s new esports program in a statement.
“We think college esports is a great opportunity and we want our students to be part of it.”
The program is sponsored by Utah’s Entertainment Arts & Engineering program, which has been ranked the No. 1 video design program in the nation for three of the past five years.
Utah will begin competition in the fall semester, joining the League of Legends before ultimately joining four total leagues.
“We have more than 750 university League of Legends student clubs and more than 20 official varsity programs across North America,” said Michael Sherman of Riot Games. “The U continues to showcase why it’s among the nation’s most innovative and competitive as the first Power Five school to build its varsity League of Legends team.”
Let the games begin.
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