In what is either a sign of forward thinking or the latest evidence of the decline of civilization, Southern New Hampshire University is launching a varsity esports program for University Campus students this fall. This is the first competitive esports program in New Hampshire and one of only a few in New England.

Esports are multiplayer video games played competitively for spectators, similar to many other traditional collegiate athletics, that are becoming popular on college campuses across the country. SNHU’s esports team, made up of approximately 20 team members, will represent the University in local, regional and national competitions in games such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Fortnite. The program will be led by the new Director of Esports, Tim Fowler.

“SNHU has seen tremendous growth and interest from students in the gaming club over the past few years, so we felt strongly about taking this next step to officially launch a competitive esports team and continue the tradition that the students have begun at SNHU,” said Fowler.

SNHU will begin offering esports scholarships to new and current students in fall 2019.

SNHU is currently outfitting housing on campus designed specifically for gamers. The pod-style housing will be located on the third floor of Hampton Hall and will house 48 students – six students per pod – starting in fall 2018.

While esports scholarships will be open to students of any major, SNHU offers a variety of gaming-related majors including Game Art and Development, Game Programming and Development, Graphic Design and Media Arts, and Web Design.

“Parents often wonder about the effects of playing too many video games, but I have learned that esports are more than just games,” said Heather Lorenz, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, SNHU. “Through esports, our students are learning real-world skills applicable in our changing workforce, they are being challenged with scenarios in teamwork and problem solving, and they are being prepared for careers in a booming, billion-dollar gaming industry.”

SNHU has partnered with the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) as a member institution.  Through the NACE, institutions agree to standards for eligibility and conduct for collegiate esports.

For more information on SNHU’s esports program, click here.

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