WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – University of Hartford Interim Athletic Director Maria Feeley announced on Monday that the University is adding Varsity Esports for the 2020-21 academic year.
With over 175 Esports programs currently competing in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NAC), Esports is one of the fastest growing sports in the country. At Hartford, the Esports program will be co-ed, with the goal being to attract and bring together a diverse team of students.
“The evolution of Esports in such a short period of time, coupled with the unlimited growth potential of the sport, makes Hartford’s commitment even more exciting,” said Feeley. “The addition of Esports presents a great opportunity for our students, while contributing to the University’s retention and graduation efforts. It provides an avenue for students to become engaged in many ways, as the program will attract not just gamers, but students who are interested in becoming team managers, student coaches, graphic designers, social media managers and much more. I can’t wait to see the program hit the ground running!”
To celebrate the arrival of Esports at Hartford, the Department of Athletics has partnered with Student Government Association (SGA) to host an Esports Kick-off Party on Wednesday, October 14. The two-hour long kick-off, which begins at 7 p.m. in Alumni Plaza, will feature video games, music, yard games, giveaways and much more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to sign up to become members of the Hawks’ inaugural Esports team during the party.
Hartford — which will be the first school in the America East Conference to offer a Varsity Esports program through the Athletic Department — plans to welcome its first class of gamers during the Fall 2020 semester, with the first season of competition planned for the 2021 spring season.
The Esports team will compete in the new Esports Arena, housed within the Sports Center on campus. The Sports Center also serves as the home to Hartford’s basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team.
With the addition of Hartford, each of the 10 members of the America East will have an Esports program with the Hawks will be the only program in the league competing as a Varsity program.
In addition to becoming an Esports competitor, there are several ways for students to become involved in Esports at Hartford. The team is looking for team managers, student coaches, graphic designers, social media managers and announcers. Students who want to become involved in Esports can do so by completing this brief Esports Interest Questionnaire.
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