What is Varsity Esports?

Varsity refers to the principal teams representing a college or university. Primarily these teams compete against similar teams at peer educational institutions. Additionally varsity programs receive significant support in resources. Typically these resources take the form of financial support, facilities, equipment and scholarships from college and university departments.

Our goal at NACE is to bring esports in line on campus with the support seen for traditional athletics.

To qualify for NACE membership, institutions must be fully accredited by an authorized higher educational accrediting agency relative to their region and national affiliation. Additionally, programs must be officially endorsed by the school that they represent. NACE’s framework allows students to receive esports specific scholarships from the institutions they attend. How financial aid is distributed is dependent on specific institutional policies and not controlled by NACE.

Since its establishment in the early 2000’s, professional and club esports has seen rapid growth in both participation and viewership. According to ESPN The Magazine’s June 22, 2015 esports issue, the 2014 League of Legends championship drew an online viewership of 27 million people, which is more than the NBA Finals (15.5 million), Major League Baseball’s World Series (13.8 million) and the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Finals (5 million). DOTA 2 – another popular esport – drew 20 million that same year according to the article.

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