By Matthew Smith |
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has decided not to govern college esports in the United States.
The organization has voted against organizing and overseeing college-level competitions in video games, despite esports gaining a huge increase in popularity and recognition in recent years.
This has led to the formation of professional teams and leagues in a variety of games, while the best known esports personalities routinely earn six-figure salaries.
US colleges are even starting to offer scholarships for esports gamers – the University of California at Berkley, Robert Morris University and Boise State are offering incentives for “League of Legends” players to join their schools.
“League of Legends” is a multiplayer online battle game, in which players control a “champion” with unique abilities and battle against a team of other players.
The goal is to destroy the opposing team’s Nexus, which lies at the heart of a base protected by defensive structures.
NCAA President Mark Emmert, however, expressed concerns about esports at the organization’s January Annual Convention, in particular the content of some games and the fact the vast majority of gamers are male.
He said: “We know a lot of the content is hugely misogynistic, and we know that some of the content is really violent.
“We don’t particularly embrace games where the objective is to blow your opponent’s head off.
“We know there are serious concerns about health and wellness around those games.”
Reports in America revealed the NCAA decided unanimously to table the issue of esports governance, with no determined date as to when the matter would be further discussed.
In the meantime, Riot Games – publishers of “League of Legends” – are reportedly looking at setting up their own college league and governing body.
Riot already run 13 professional esports leagues for “League of Legends”.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.
I still don’t understand this. Video games have been a part of our culture for YEARS. The parents of today’s younger generations played video games before, so where has this refusal to accept Esports as a legitimate competitive sport come from? Just like you said in your writing, a lot of professional gamers are making salaries in the six-figure range and universities and colleges are offering scholarships to individuals to compete on Esports teams. Along with that, there are professional gaming leagues that are selling out sports arenas to broadcast these competitions. A League of Legends tournament sold out Madison Square Garden. MSG! The Mecca!
I just personally think that the NCAA is missing out on a great opportunity. They still incorporate Water Polo as an NCAA sanctioned sport, and which of the two competitions do you think has a larger following and viewership? There are plenty of media outlets more than willing to broadcast and promote these events, but it’s only a matter of time until the NCAA misses their chance.