Wayland Pioneering first college eSports team in West Texas

Wayland Pioneering first college eSports team in West Texas

PLAINVIEW, Texas (KCBD) - The movements are slight, and the field is virtual.

But, Wayland and many other schools across the nation see this as a serious sport.

"You know, kind of like how football started off as a game and it eventually became the sport that it is, that is where the game is," Wayland Baptist esports coach Duncan Sweeney said. "It started off as a game, and now people are starting to realize how competitive really it can be. You know, how much money people can make on this stuff too. So, it is really becoming a big thing."

Esports is a booming business in the gaming world. According to the website emarketer.com, esports reached $869 Million dollars in revenue in 2018 and is forecasted to triple that number by 2022.

But, that was for the professionals. For universities across the nation, they are seeing the same kind of boom in this upcoming sport.

"I know when Wayland added we were the 141st school (to offer esports)," Sweeney said.

According to coach, there are more than 10-schools across the state of Texas that offer esports.

The gamers that will be coming to Wayland for this new program will be treated like any other athlete. They have to get good grades, follow school protocol and they will even have the chance to be recruited for a scholarship.

Duncan Sweeney, new esports coach at Wayland Baptist University (Devin Ward/KCBD)
Duncan Sweeney, new esports coach at Wayland Baptist University (Devin Ward/KCBD)

In my interview with coach Sweeney, I asked him, “How would you recruit someone to come to Wayland to be a part of your esports program?”

"Just like how we would recruit for anything, really," Sweeney said. "We would reach out to them, talk with them and see if that is something that they are interested in. We will check to see if they are a good fit for Wayland, we will check their ranking and see how they are doing online and in the database for everything, and we will go from there."

Initially, Wayland will compete in three different games: Overwatch, Smite and Super Smash Bros... According to a Wayland press release, they will stage competitions once a week, that will be played online.

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