ESports Are Coming to Dakota Wesleyan University

MITCHELL, SD- “There’s an opportunity here ( I believe) to increase some inclusiveness with students who are not participating in other sports at this stage.”

What once was an idea is now turning into a reality for Dakota Wesleyan University.  Two years ago, the administration at D.W.U noticed that gaming is something that caught the students interests. After a over-whelming response from a survey, the school officially is making Competitive ESports a co-curricular activity.

“I think wrapping the concept of E-Gaming with a little bit more holistic look at the whole student in saying, ‘how do we recognize they’re doing this and help them do it in a way that’s going to be most productive from them personally,’ ” says Dakota Wesleyan President Amy Novak.

D.W.U is one of three colleges in South Dakota to have an ESports Team.  They are the only school in the state with membership to the National Collegiate Association for ESports or NACE, which is a conference like the NAIA or NCAA.

“ESports is very different. It’s a very dynamic and just a different organization. Some of it is (they call it an A.P.M or actions per minute), so there’s a physical component to that. Then again, you still have to maintain your GPA and right now we are talking about a fitness and nutrition program.”

Students will be competing in games like “League of Legends” and “Fornite.”  Students participating will also be treated like collegiate athletes.  Coming off his first season of collegiate football and being highly involved with choir and theater, freshman Brennan Bence has a handle on balancing his schedule.

“Studies come first like any sport or program. I talked to my Theater Director and that’s mostly evening stuff. They way that it works out is the same thing. I have about 2-3 hours in the spring where I have nothing to do,” says Dakota Wesleyan ESport Competitor Brennan Bence.

Brennan and the other 31 members of the team are looking forward to their first official tournament in January.   For now, ESports will be offered as a co-curricular scholarship opportunity for students.   This scholarship is similar to a performance scholarship as if they were participating in choir or band.

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