Finlandia to introduce Esports as varsity sport in Fall 2020
Finlandia University Athletics is excited to host a new varsity sport on campus beginning in fall 2020, esports. Esports – competitive, organized, multiplayer, online gaming – is the world’s fastest growing sport and has begun to explode in popularity at the collegiate level.
“Esports can provide a home for those students who might not otherwise be engaged in college spirit, campus activities or social events, while offering an opportunity to make friends and build relationships,” said Athletic Director Curtis Wittenberg.
Online gaming has been shown to help improve memory, concentration and analytical development, as players must remain alert and perceptive to the people, personalities and actions that evolve during the game. It also provides opportunities for social development, particularly through multiplayer games that require teamwork and communication.
The esports program will be run by Finlandia’s Athletics Department and housed on main campus. While the final destination for the esports arena has yet to be determined, the search for a full-time director has already begun. Games the university will choose to play will depend upon the director and student-athlete skills and interest. Possible games include League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League and Fortnite.
Esports will host a co-ed roster with a goal of 20 esports student-athletes for Fall 2020. Within each game, Finlandia could create multiple teams allowing for more players to participate in the same game.
Esports has been on Finlandia’s radar for over a year now and a student survey proved that there is interest among campus to begin a program. Over 50 percent of FinnU student’s surveyed are currently active in esports or gaming with 55 percent expressing interest in playing esports as a varsity sport at FinnU.