UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illini e-sports team is working to turn competitive video gaming into a varsity level sport at U of I.
Today U of I’s Gies College of Business hosted a summit on the fastest growing sport world-wide. Right now, there’s an e-sports R.S.O. on campus, but they want to make it much more than that.
Big 10 had an e-sports tournament this past semester. UI’s team won the competition. That qualifies them to go onto nationals next month.
Competitive video gaming is rapidly growing. 110 colleges in the U.S. recognize this as a sport at their university. The Illini e-sports team wants U of I to do the same.
This summit had speakers including law and business professors and students supporting the cause. They say what it really comes down to is recognition for their sport.
Illini e-sport’s President David Koruna says, “We’re seeing that switch toward the e-sports platform. I think we’ll continue to see that as the years go on. I think it’s due to the fact that people have been growing up playing games but we’re starting to now see a whole culture developing around it.”
The team says it can be a challenge to get college students to unite for a common interest. But they’ve had hundreds of people attend their events.
There were some who came to the summit in opposition to this idea. They told me promotion of e-sports could encourage underage gambling and further gambling addiction. But the summit leaders said that has no bearing on what they’re trying to accomplish.