Esports joins Jets athletics lineup; tryouts coming soon

Esports joins Jets athletics lineup; tryouts coming soon

Jackson College will recruit a new team of athletes this fall for a new world – or worlds – of competition!

Because of growing interest in competitive video gaming, esports becomes the 13th Jets athletic team. Esports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Any Jackson College student interested in trying out is invited to RSVP by e-mailing Coach Brad Choate by Oct. 25. Rocket League and League of Legends will be the games this first season.  Choate, who also works in Information Technology for the College, is starting to assemble the team.

"I'm looking forward to building a program that the College and community can be proud of. I'm also very excited to offer more opportunities for our students to get involved and be a part of our great athletics program," Choate said.

A new esports arena is taking shape from renovations to a classroom in the Jets Hangar. Athletes will have uniforms and participate in fitness, to be in their best shape for competition. The Jets will be part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE).

Esports FAQ Sheet

What is Esports?

Esports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming. Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in games like League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and Madden. Professional Esports is a billion-dollar industry with millionaire athletes, millions of viewers, and include commercial sponsors like BMW, Redbull, Dr. Pepper, Microsoft, Puma, AT&T, and even the U.S. Air Force.

Our program will compete in several different games. Each athlete will specialize in a specific game and often even a specific position much like in traditional sports.

Did you know: The second most-watched broadcast in 2018 was the League of Legends World Championships, second only to the Super Bowl?

What are the benefits of collegiate Esports?

Like traditional sports, Esports can give a boost to college enrollment. One school reported receiving 500 new applications after a news segment on their new esports program.

Students who are seriously involved in the video gaming culture may struggle with their sense of belonging on campus. However, esports programs can give those students a way to socially connect with other like-minded students and build a genuine connection with their school.

This can also give another opportunity for student-athletes to transfer to four-year schools who also have esports programs.

Esport Athlete Requirements

All esports student-athletes will be required to abide by and meet the existing requirements including taking at least 12 credits a semester, maintaining a 2.0 GPA, and living in housing if the home address is more than 50 miles from Central Campus. 

Will there be travel involved for competitions?

Most tournaments and competitions will occur online and require no travel costs. We would eventually like to set up at least one local tournament with another school in the area.

Do I have to be a certain rank to join?

We are currently looking at all applicants for our initial year. If you do not currently have a rank for the game you are interested in playing, we highly recommend that you perform your ranked placement matches to determine skill level.

Can students join the team in a non-competing role?

We hope to have two students, ideally, helping manage the team while also helping with stats, media, and other content creation.

What does competition normally look like?

Students have a schedule that they are expected to adhere to for both practices and competition. They are expected to practice two times a week along with competing against other schools via the Internet multiple times a week depending on the tournament schedule.