What are esports? Ohio’s universities have the answer


In the wake of the Jacksonville, Florida shooting this weekend, the concept of esports has gained attention.

Three people, including a gunman, were killed on Sunday at a video game competition. Nine other people were injured during the Madden Tournament which took place at Chicago Pizza in Jacksonville.

Esports —short for electronic sports —is the concept of people competitively playing multiplayer video games for spectators. Typically the sport includes people who are considered professional gamers.

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A survey released in June ranked some of Ohio’s colleges among some of the best for esports.

Miami University was ranked No. 1 in the survey release by Value Gamers, a company that helps people make informed decisions when it comes to buying gaming equipment.

Miami received the top ranking because in 2016 it became the first “top-tier university” to start a varsity esports team, according to Value Gamers. Miami’s team won the 2017 National Association of Collegiate Esports season for “Overwatch” a multuplayer first-person shooter video game.

Ashland University in Northeast Ohio is ranked No. 6 on Value Gamers’ survey and the University of Akron is also seen as an up-and-coming esports school.

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Just a little over a month ago, the University of Akron announced it was planning to open “esports facilities unlike any other kind in the world.” On Oct. 5, the university is planning to open three dedicated gaming facilities totalling more than 5,200 combined square feet, according to the school.

It will be the largest amount of dedicated space for esports at any university in the world and will be outfitted with more than 90 state-of-the-art gaming computers and 30 “next generation consoles.” The facility will also house a 1,222 square-foot gaming arena located on its first floor, according to the University of Akron.

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