MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Pfeiffer University has announced the addition of an eSports program beginning in the fall of the 2018-19 academic year. With the addition, Pfeiffer is adding one of the largest growing sports in all of college athletics.
Today, more than 60 colleges and universities have eSports programs. "eSports is exploding in college athletics," said Vice President for Athletics Bob Reasso. "The Eastern College Athletic Conference, which we are a member of, believes there is more than enough interest to enable them to embark on an ambitious program of eSports competition. We are excited to be part of this rapidly growing global sporting phenomenon. It's a great opportunity for our students."
Adding eSports will give student-athletes a new and exciting sport. According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, eSports is the world's fastest-growing spectator sport. The report goes on to say, "Last year, eSports tournaments and live streams drew 258 million unique viewers. Put another way, more people watched other people play video games in 2017 than all NFL regular-season games combined. eSports tournaments have sold out Madison Square Garden and World Cup stadiums."
"We are very excited to have this emerging sport come to Pfeiffer," commented Pfeiffer University President Dr. Colleen Keith. "It will create some great opportunities that our students are going to enjoy. The national popularity of eSports is at an all-time high around the world, and Pfeiffer will be on that global stage with our program."
The search for the program's first-ever head coach is underway. Pfeiffer will be joining the newly-created ECAC eSports league which has already begun offering leagues, championships, tournaments and other competitions. In the upcoming year, the ECAC will unveil organized leagues and championships including Riot Games' League of Legends and EA Sports' FIFA.