INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia State University looks to be the next institution in the state to bring Esports to campus.
During WVSU President Anthony Jenkins’ State of the University speech last week, he outlined plans for an Esports program to begin as early as next Fall semester.
While he told MetroNews the program planning is in its early stages, the institution is excited about the potential to join the recent wave of Esports programs.
“There are institutions across the nation that have developed Esports programs and we are developing one right here at West Virginia State University,” Jenkins said.
Concord University launched Esports this fall and Jenkins said he has talked with Concord President Dr. Kendra Boggess on what to expect. West Virginia Wesleyan also has an Esports team.
Jenkins, who sits on the NCAA Presidents Division II Council, said he has been planning and talking about Esports for a year and a half now. Esports is competitive video gaming, where school field rosters for certain games and compete in large tournaments.
“Lets ride this wave, be out in front and not get swallowed up by it,” Jenkins said of getting involved. “If we are not proactive in this space, we’re going to be losing students who are going to be recruited to other institutions outside of this space because they are wizards and geniuses at Esports.”
Jenkins said the school plans to house the program in the Office of Student Affairs as a club sport but would receive guidance from the athletic department.
As for the games? Jenkins said that hasn’t been determined yet. Concord has three rosters in their Esports program with Call of Duty, League of Legends and Overwatch.
“Some of the students have thrown me a couple of examples,” Jenkins said of potential games.
“I’m not ready to say those just yet but they are excited about it, I am excited about it. I’m looking forward to it happening right here on our campus.”