Faulkner University Plans for New eSports Team Scheduled to Begin Competition Fall 2022

Faulkner University has announced plans for a new eSports team scheduled to begin competition in the fall of 2022.

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Esports, organized video competitions, is exploding in popularity across high schools, colleges and universities throughout the country. Since competitions are virtual, they can be broadcast online for viewers to watch around the world.

Faulkner has recognized esports as a great opportunity to attract prospective students and hopes to be a part of building it into an established competitive collegiate sport.

Much like early college football, esports is growing from a grassroots effort where gaming guidelines, competition schedules and player formats are agreed upon with mutual cooperation between opposing teams.

Organized under the Faulkner Athletics Department, Faulkner esports is scheduled to launch by the fall of 2022, however, renovations and development of the new esports arena should be completed by December 2021.

Faulkner’s plans are to establish an official esports varsity team. Unlike traditional sports, esports is a participant sport that anyone can play.

“Esports is in high demand right now among high schools and it’s growing at an incredible rate among colleges and universities,” said Mark Hunt, Vice President for Enrollment Management. “Esports is something you can participate in from anywhere in the world and we already have a large number of students on campus who have expressed interest in participating and growing the sport.”

During the spring 2021 semester, students on Faulkner’s Montgomery campus organized small local esports gaming events and hosted esports tournaments with cooperation from Caleb Colquitt, Resident Director.

In addition to baseball, basketball, football and other sporting games, students participated in Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart in addition to traditional esports games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League.

“Getting in on the ground level of esports is a good draw,” Colquitt said. “Esports has blossomed over the pandemic and is becoming a really big deal. There are large monetary prizes at the tournament levels, which have been featured on ESPN.”

Faulkner’s esports arena would also be able to host other esports tournaments for local high schools and surrounding areas. A space inside the Multiplex has been designated for the arena and will include new computers, monitors, gaming chairs, desks, special lighting, production equipment and a live viewing area along with outside viewing areas.

Esports teams can include up to six players at a time, smaller teams or even individual tournaments, depending on the game.

According to gaming analytics company, NewZoo, the fan base for esports is expected to include nearly 729 million people by the end of 2021, a 10% increase from 2020.

Prospective students interested in eSports should contact the Admissions Office at 334-386-7200 or inquire by email to admissions@faulkner.edu.