Ready or not, gaming is now a college sport at St. Clair County Community College
Though it may seem a strange notion to some, video games as a spectator sport is very real. And popular.
Gamers and non-gamers alike spend hours every day on Twitch, an online streaming platform to watch people play video games. Even ESPN, the mega-sports network that covers "traditional" sports like baseball and basketball has begun to cover gaming, or what’s come to be known across the board as Esports.
As Esports becomes more and more legitimatized, it’s spreading its reach into our everyday lives.
In the fall of 2019, the NJCAA, the national governing board of two-year college athletics, announced the formation of NJCAA Esports. It’s a move that makes sense. In wanting to appeal to young people, it can only benefit colleges to offer the things that they enjoy the most.
At the vanguard of collegiate athletics is St. Clair Community College. The school is among the first 50 of 520 NJCAA member institutions to field a team.
The inaugural season kicked off in February 2020, with the SC4 Skippers currently competing in three games this season: Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate doubles, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate singles.
The Skippers play at the school’s Fine Arts Building and theater. The Skippers are currently tied for fifth place in Rocket League play, with a record of three wins and three losses.
"The growth trend of the esports industry has given NJCAA member colleges a remarkable opportunity to create and manage programs, increase enrollment and retention and make a greater positive impact in their communities," Dr. Christopher Parker, president and CEO of the NJCAA, said upon the formation of the league.
"The NJCAA, with our partners Legacy Esports and EsportsU, is excited to embark on this historic endeavor to benefit two-year higher education."
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