As eSports continues to gain prominence around the world, one college in the US has become the first all-women’s school to sponsor a varsity eSports program and is already assembling an Overwatch team for Fall 2017.
Missouri-based Stephens College’s president Dianne Lynch told ESPN that the school started putting together a plan over a year ago and Overwatch couldn’t have come at a better time. Although women’s eSports teams already exist, Stephens College’s program is the first of its kind at least in the US.
“We always consider ourselves early adopters, or a kayak in the water, as I would say, rather than an ocean liner, ” said Lynch. “We have the capacity and the appetite for doing something new that allows us to say, ‘Let’s try this.'”
ESPN points out that there’s no infrastructure currently in place for eSports under the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Therefore, Stephens’ team will operate under the Information Technology department for the time being.
“There are multiple kinds of athletics, and this is just a new kind,” explained Lynch. “It’s different, and it looks different, and it feels different, but it is, as you know, one of the most rapidly growing industries and athletic events in the world.”
Good luck to the Overwatch team!