Last week, The Ohio State University set the new bar for what it means to have a formalized esports program on campus.
Ohio State’s campus-wide gaming and esports program covers everything from students to curriculum to research. The curriculum will provide students the opportunity to prepare themselves for careers in all areas of the video game and esports industries, while the multidisciplinary research will explore the challenges of measuring and improving player performance. An esports arena on campus will be home to student gaming communities as well as the competitive teams. The teams will be the first members of EGFC, the Electronic Gaming Federation’s (EGF) collegiate esports league.
As a partner with Ohio State, EGF is committed to building interscholastic esports. Since its founding in 2013, EGF has run hundreds of tournaments for students all over the world and now oversees national leagues for formalized (varsity) esports programs in both college (EGFC) and high school (EGFH).
EGF works with some of the largest universities in the country and high schools all over North America to build esports programs that include competitive teams, educational programs, and social impact initiatives with a focus on inclusivity, diversity and mental health through a partnership with Anxiety Gaming.
In 2017, EGFH became the first state-endorsed league in the country, and through the first 2 seasons, have awarded tens of thousands of dollars worth of scholarships to students. Building on the first league started in Connecticut, EGFH launched operations in Alaska and Virginia this fall with a slate of new states coming in the next few months.
EGF’s mission is to build the infrastructure for an amateur ecosystem that offers a parallel path into a career in esports from high school to college to pro, whether it be as a player or a professional in the industry.
EGFC is the next step in that mission. EGFC was designed in partnership with participating members to be a stable, consistent, competitive esports league for Division 1 universities that recognizes the needs and interests of the institutions and, most importantly, the students. As huge sports nerds, EGFC’s team has taken lessons learned from sports leaders like Pete Rozelle, Bud Selig, and David Stern and applied their decades and decades of traditional sports knowledge to work for esports.
Ohio State is a major step towards accomplishing our joint vision for the future of esports but there is still a lot of work to be done. Over the next few months, EGFC will continue to announce new members and give further details on the structure, the season schedule, games to be played, and other initiatives being developed. To learn more about EGFC and starting a formalized program on your campus, contact EGFC here!