University of Providence is the latest campus to add their name to the list of varsity esports programs in North America. The Great Falls, Montana school announced today that they will be introducing a scholarship esports program for the 2018-2019 year and will be focusing on competitive League of Legends for their inaugural season.
"Not only will eSports give us another 20 or more students on campus, but it will put us on the cutting edge of a potential giant in the future of collegiate athletics," Vice President for Athletics Dave Ganett says. "While the sport is a bit outside of the comfort level of most people in the athletic industry, including myself, its growth and appeal are undeniable. Instead of ignoring it, or passing it off as a fad, we want to embrace it and make it part of who we are."
Esports joins other new programs like women’s wrestling, women's wrestling, men's hockey, and women's hockey for UP Argos Athletics, all added over the past year. This aggressive expansion appears to be a concentrated effort to capture interest in the school as a competitive sports destination.
While League of Legends has been targeted as the main game title for the upcoming year, the UP states that is open to adding new titles as they explore the space with incoming student athletes.