Calhoun Community College Adds Esports for Fall 2020 Semester
It was just a few years ago that Calhoun Community College was going to shut down its athletics program, but now they’re looking at esports! That’s right, for the Fall 2020 semester, they will be among the first in their state to join collegiate esports. You love to see it!
One of the best things about esports at this level, they don’t generally need to order expensive uniforms, build new fields or anything like that. As long as the school has a good internet connection and some computers, they’re good to go. All the players in this case need will be their consoles and a screen.
The space that will be used is presently being wired and painted and will have appropriate sweating (gaming chairs), monitors, and headsets. Esports is not a new thing in the college scene, but we’re glad to see Calhoun Community College joining the movement. They are one of the first community-level colleges this writer has personally heard about in the scene.
“Words cannot express how excited we are to introduce such a fun and innovative program to our students,” said Joe Burke, Calhoun interim president. “Gaming has become extremely popular across the world, and it continues to grow globally as this competitive sport attracts participants from diverse age groups and backgrounds.”
Though esports at the college level is still growing, it’s exciting nonetheless. Back in September 2019, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) partnered with the Chicago-based Legacy Esports as well as New York-based EsportsU to create NJCAA Esports.
That tells us that they’re taking it quite seriously with a powerful governing body. This association was created to give governance, competition, and official national championships to the two-year college system. They’ll also guide and help develop these scenes. So, they’ll be helping to build and operate these esports programs at the affiliate colleges.
Now that is good news. Not simply leaving the colleges to figure it out on their own is the best thing. We do know that so far, Calhoun Esports will be competing in Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Kind of surprised League of Legends, Valorant, and MTG Arena aren’t on that list, but there’s always time!
“At this time, we do not have set schedules, but we are looking to begin recruiting for our esports team,” said Casey Knighten, Calhoun esports coach/multimedia technician. “We know gaming is extremely popular among our student base, so we hope to attract some of the best gamers in North Alabama to represent Calhoun while competing against other students from community/junior colleges across the nation.”
These players will have to be full-time (12 hours) and be in good academic standing to be a part of the esports teams. They will have to also meet the NJCAA eligibility requirements for athletes. I appreciate how serious they’re taking all of this. One thing esports is in dire need of is order and governance. It needs to be taken seriously and be treated like a legitimate sport to get more eyes on it.
But more importantly, we like to see people realizing how many excellent skills you can learn by being a part of esports.
“As we continuously seek out creative opportunities to enhance the student experience here at Calhoun, we felt bringing something such as gaming would put us on the right track,” said Patricia Wilson, vice president of student services. “Gaming brings so much more than fun for our students, it is also an ingenious way to sharpen their soft skills such as being a team player, which is a vital workforce skill.”
I’ve learned so much about being a team-player through esports. I’ve also learned that many people do not understand that people have to work together to win and be successful. Perhaps if some of those pub League Ranked players were a part of normal teams in college, they could have picked up some of these lessons.
Esports can help you in life by being a better communicator, a more positive person, and someone who looks for answers and solutions, instead of blame. Congrats to Calhoun Community College! We’re looking forward to seeing them be successful in the world of esports!