MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Georgia College is embracing what the school says could be the future of collegiate sports, creating an esports team that plays against other schools in an NCAA conference.
“It’s definitely all of our favorite game it’s a big part of our life,” junior John Bills said. “I’ve played this game since high school I’ve put like ten thousand hours into the game I’m sure the other guys have put thousands of hours into it as well.”
The six person, Georgia College League of Legends team plays in the Division II Peach Belt Conference.
“Seeing the school come to us and say, yeah we want an esports team, it’s honestly unbelievable,” Bills said.
The game is League of Legends (LOL), but the sport of competitive video gaming is a $700 million market with hundreds of millions of fans.
“This could be an area of growth when it comes to collegiate sports so we wanted to be a bit more involved,” Georgia College’s Assistant Athletic Director Al Weston said.
The creator of LOL, Riot Games, entered a partnership with the Peach Belt Conference to hold the esports league, pitting schools and their respective teams against each other.
“I don’t know what I’m looking at because I don’t know the game but I can kind of get an idea of what goes into all that kind of stuff,” Weston said. “[The team] practices, they do scrimmages and they’re really putting their all into representing Georgia College.”
Georgia College is hosting the Peach Belt Conference Championship in March. The team does not use athletic fees, according to the schools student-run newspaper.
You can read more about the school’s LOL team here.