Lourdes University expands collegiate footprint with eSports
Offers scholarships to competitive video gamers
Lourdes University has expanded its Gray Wolves collegiate program to include eSports. A member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), the school will be the first in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference to offer an eSports scholarship program.
“The addition of an eSports program promotes a holistic approach to collegiate athletics. As a liberal arts institution, we value and recognize the important aptitude and skills these students will bring to Lourdes University. Competitive video gaming requires students to possess excellent critical thinking, problem-solving and teamwork skills – which are transferrable to their academic pursuits. In addition, these individuals must follow a strong fitness regimen and have a healthy mind and spirit,” says President Mary Ann Gawelek.
Mr. Cory Cahill, Assistant Men’s and Women’s Gray Wolves Volleyball Coach, is directing the eSports program. A former competitive gamer, his success in this popular and emerging sport helped pay for his college education.
Lourdes University is currently recruiting a part-time coach who will seek talented video gamers who have competed nationally and internationally in the high school and/or collegiate arena. In its inaugural competitive season this fall, the university plans to field three teams with possible alternates. The Gray Wolves eSports students will compete in two leagues – the National Association of Collegiate eSports and the Collegiate StarLeague.
As a Catholic and Franciscan University, Lourdes eSports student-athletes will focus on competitive video gaming without participating in any video gaming programs that feature first-person shooting. Lourdes President Dr. Gawelek emphasizes that this type of video gaming does not add any specific skill that is applicable to an individual’s academic studies.
The Lourdes University eSports Gray Wolves teams will play in the new Gaming Arena located in the rec center on campus. Non-student athletes will enjoy a new Gaming Room designed for recreational gamers and those affiliated with the university’s Gaming Society student organization.
High school and college students interested in competing on the inaugural Lourdes University eSports teams can visit www.lourdesathletics.com or contact Mr. Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-878-3210, ext.8945.