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Education Games IT

eSports Now a Part of College Athletics 110

jyosim writes: The University of Cincinnati hosted what was possibly the largest-ever collegiate video-game tournament last weekend. At the university, the League of Legends club has become an official club sport, just like rugby or rowing. "What's happening with college e-sports right now is that we're seeing a formalization and institutionalization of what's always been present," said T.L. Taylor, a professor of comparative media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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eSports Now a Part of College Athletics

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  • Like LoL is even hard.
    Real gamers play Starcraft.
  • by Forgefather ( 3768925 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @12:46PM (#50679975)

    More like the colleges are realizing that there is another bumper crop of highly marketable kids that they can exploit for multi-million dollar TV and streaming deals where they don't have to pay the players anything at all. I am waiting for the NCAA's drool to start accumulating over another pool of exploitable labor.

    Otherwise this is pretty good for eSports. This can serve as a recruitment ground for skilled players as skills rarely port well from the general ladder to competitive team play. Also, as League of Legends is legally recognized as a sport in the US this might allow people to apply for visas and scholarships.

    And for the people who will inevitably flood this comments section with nonsense about how eSports isn't a real sport please just stop. No one cares if they are real sports by a definition that is arbitrary to begin with, and they certainly don't want to hear your opinion about it in your relentless pursuit of overdefinition.

    • by bkr1_2k ( 237627 )

      You are aware that "club sports" are just "clubs" that play sports, right? It's not like we're talking about Notre Dame varsity football or Duke varsity Basketball that you watch on tv. This is sports for the rest of us. You're not likely to see any scholarships created in support of this, just like there are very few (if any) scholarships for other "club sports" most of which don't have any kind of try-outs or meritocracy for playing time. You show up, you play, in most cases.

      • Yea, I understand that part, but unlike other sports clubs competitive gaming has been shown to be highly profitable which I feel makes it a matter of time before it gets upgraded. Most sports clubs are only clubs because they are unable to attract a sufficient audience for lucrative TV deals.

    • I am waiting for the NCAA's drool to start accumulating over another pool of exploitable labor.

      You'll be waiting a long time. I was a college athlete in division one under the NCAA. I assure you that the NCAA wants nothing to do with so called esports. The folks in charge don't even consider it a sport no matter what you or I might call it. Plus if the NCAA gets involved then there are Title IX issues that come into play given that the player demographics skew heavily male. You seriously think a D1 college is going to cut an athletic sport for varsity video games?

      No, even if esports become a thi

      • It's good to know that NCAA is currently uninterested, but the only real reason that one sport or event receives more money at an undergraduate level is popularity, and by extension profitability. Football gets the largest amount of money in the budget because they can make the most money for the school. If video games takes off in popularity at the college level the way it has taken off at the pro level then I think it would be a matter of time before the school started to capitalize on that. As for the

        • As for the diversity issues they might as well not exist. As you said gaming is male dominated, but so is football, and at least in the case of football no one will do anything because there is too much money in it. Assuming (and I realize that my arguments rest on this assumption) that gaming can be as successful at the college scene as in the professional scene, the money will quash any significant action.

          I'm afraid you are mistaken about the effects of Title IX. What would happen is that other men's activities (sports) would get pushed out to keep the gender balance. Football does that in men's college sports now. It takes all the oxygen out of the room for other men's sports. It gets something like 65 scholarships and there is no equivalent sport on the women's side of the ledger. Less popular men's sports typically get the ax to feed the beast. In my sport of wrestling there were something like 160

    • We do care, because it makes nerds look stupid. We're just trying to point out that not all of us are a part of the crazy.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      More like the colleges are realizing that there is another bumper crop of highly marketable kids that they can exploit for multi-million dollar TV and streaming deals

      Not if the games' publishers refuse the deals. Nintendo, Capcom, and Blizzard have all asserted the exclusive right to perform their copyrighted games publicly as a way to crack down on leagues, tournaments, and broadcasters that they don't like.

  • Pro am (Score:5, Funny)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @12:57PM (#50680073) Journal

    "Let's get ready ti RUMMMMMMBLEEEEEEEEEEE!

    "In this corner, weighing in at 327, the Buttonmasher from Boston, the World Champeen Jason 'Couch Potato' Johnson!

    "And in this corner, weighing in at 294, the Dollar Menu Don, the Permanent Indenter, Phil 'And a Diet Coke, lite on the ice, please' Pullman.

  • eSports Now a Part of College Athletics

    Where's that "donotwant" tag when you need it?

  • Seriously. Someone just fucking shoot me now. This whole "eSport" bullshit is just a demonstration of how stupid society's become.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @01:07PM (#50680167) Homepage

      Honestly, if bridge and chess are considered sports, why not video games?

      It defies what most of us think of as 'sport', but apparently it's a more nuanced thing, and there are already precedents for this.

      Essentially once you have a league and rules, you have a sport ... now, don't expect the nerd-force to be treated with the same respect as the football players .. the cheerleaders will still not care. ;-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shigutso ( 2932389 )
        > the cheerleaders will still not care. ;-)

        But the Korean cheerleaders will care. A lot :-)
      • Honestly, if bridge and chess are considered sports, why not video games?

        Very few people really consider bridge or chess a sport even including people who play seriously. Video games would probably fall into the same category as those would whatever that category happens to be. If you want to call it a sport then I can't really argue with that since a lot of activities are considered sports. (synchronized swimming anyone?) But it certainly does NOT fall under the heading of athletics. There is no appreciable athletic ability involved here including gross motor skills, balanc

        • by Anonymous Coward

          ESPN shows professional poker. Your argument is invalid.

          • ESPN shows professional poker. Your argument is invalid.

            I don't think you ever want to use "ESPN" to decide an argument.

            Exhibit A: Darren Rovell
            Exhibit B: Dan Le Batard
            Exhibit C: Skip Bayless

        • Look, let's be clear hear ... I'm not championing the cause of "e-Sports", or saying I necessarily give a damn ... because I don't.

          What I am saying is there are already precedents in which bridge and chess, for example, have been defined as sports ... at the Olympic [wikipedia.org] level no less.

          It's too damned late for us to quibble over the definition of sport, as far more authoritative bodies than a bunch of nerds on Slashdot have already weighed in.

          When I first heard this particular definition of sport I was saying "Wh

          • What I am saying is there are already precedents in which bridge and chess, for example, have been defined as sports ... at the Olympic [wikipedia.org] level no less.

            And then the Olympics apologized and promised to never make the same mistake again.

            • LOL, did they really?

              I've honestly lost track, and have no stake in what is the definition of "sport". The link I provided says chess and bridge still are.

              I just remember at the time having discussions about how a table full of old people with walkers could end up being an Olympic sport, and how that completely defined what most people understood "sport" to mean.

              I'm just pointing out that train has already sailed.

              • LOL, did they really?

                I have no idea. But neither is now an Olympic sport, so I choose to believe that they did.

                • They may not have moved forward with making them a full Olympic sport, but I don't think they've rescinded the designation.

                  In fact, it looks like there's still legal wrangling [theguardian.com] on the topic, and it sounds as if it's not entirely out of the Olympics:

                  Before Tuesday's hearing, a spokesman for law firm Irwin Mitchell, which is representing the EBU, said: :Chess has already been recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee and was demonstrated at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. It was also included i

      • by Chas ( 5144 )

        Honestly, if bridge and chess are considered sports, why not video games?

        As I said, stupidity. Bridge and chess are not sports. Anyone classifying them as a sport is a moron.

      • Once you have a league and rules, you have the ability to have a competition across schools. That does not make it a sport. Chess is not a sport. Bridge is not a sport. Even at the world Scrabble tournament they do not call it a sport.

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        Honestly, if bridge and chess are considered sports, why not video games?

        It defies what most of us think of as 'sport', but apparently it's a more nuanced thing, and there are already precedents for this.

        I don't know, I've never seen an Olympic Bridge match?

        That is kind of the gold standard when it comes to sports. Not everything that is competitive can be considered a sport, not even motorsport which despite the connotations, is actually pretty physically demanding (yes it is, you may think it's easy as you swan about in your automatic mum-tank SUV, but spend 2 hours in a manual rally car or even a track car and see how it is).

    • So no mental athletics, only physical?
    • What do you know? A low account ID making an exaggerated claim and providing no evidence to support it.

      Think about this, grandpa: maybe society isn't becoming stupid, but instead you're just getting old?
    • Seriously. Someone just fucking shoot me now. This whole "eSport" bullshit is just a demonstration of how stupid society's become.

      And the superbowl isn't?

  • Dota 2 pays more (15kk USD on last international tournament).
    Dota 2 is more balanced.
    Dota 2 is truly F2P (all heroes available from start).

    I don't think LoL is suitable for a competitive environment.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This. As a league of legends player, I can truly say the game is unbalanced as fuck. And instead of using developers time to fix issues and balance the game, they just release more skins for money. LoL management team is more worried about bringing in more money, and not balancing and fixing bugs. Skin prices vary for no reason at all.

      They are currently selling an esports bundle which has all the champs and skins from the LCS pro league that cost around $100. 100 fucking dollars. It's absurd. That's why I n

  • At the university, the League of Legends club has become an official club sport, just like rugby or rowing.

    That means it is a club but it doesn't mean it is athletic like rugby or rowing. Being a official university club means that the university sanctions the activity and maybe gives it a bit of funding and support. Which is awesome. Universities do this for lots of worthy of activities and it's always nice to see a new one added. However, calling it a part of college athletics is a bit of a reach since the amount of athleticism involved is minute. (no appreciable strength, balance, gross motor skills, etc

  • Twinkies are to Health Foods.
  • And how much time does this take vs class time?

    Right now football and basketball can take 40-60 hours a week with a travel and game schedule that makes players miss class.

    They should be paid employees that don't need to go class / are forced to take a full time class load that are some places is loaded with joke classes.

    And they need to have minor leagues for NBA and NBA. Like they do with the MLB / NHL.

    Also at some schools esports is a joke robert morris university you get up to 50 percent of tuition and 5

  • I'm not even going to enter the 'is a sport'/'is not a sport' argument, the problem I see is lack of historical consistancy.

    Basketball, Chess, Hockey, rugby and rowing all exist throughout the decades with minor rules tweaks at most. Will students in 20 years still be joining LoL club? Or playing some other video game?

    I mean good on them, but this means about as much as having a rollerblade club in 1990. Maybe some colleges did and had races and then the fad died any they stopped.

  • As a hardcore gamer that finished "Nightmare" mode in most games for the last 40 years, I understand that out of the gate, I know exactly what kind of dedication goes into playing hard, and it IS real. My crew and I were in the top 1%.

    But that said, watching my kid play Water Polo... seriously, gamers are a bunch of fuckin' posers. And my kid by choice would play TF2. He's a vicious spy.

    The old line was 'no pain no gain'. That's the problem with e-sports. No pain.

  • Not "eSports", that's really just a money making thing like World Series of Poker. I can understand that perfectly well.

    I mean collage athletics, why does it even exist.

    I'm from Australia, if you want to go into sports you apply to attend a sporting institution (such as the Australian Institute of Sport) or start playing in local leagues and work your way up. If you go to a collage or university, you're going there to use your brain.

    Having college athletics/sports only takes valuable spots and reso

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