Purchase College Launches Esports Team This Fall

This semester, Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), joined the growing number of colleges across the country that are hosting an Esports team. Research shows that the fastest growing sport has big benefits for college campuses.

Purchase College Launches Esports Team This Fall
Purchase, NY, November 06, 2023 --(PR.com)-- This semester, Purchase College, State University of New York (SUNY), joined the growing number of colleges across the country that are hosting an Esports team. Esports, or electronic sports, are competitive video games that are played at more than 50 SUNY schools and more than 175 college teams across the country. According to the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), more than 5,000 athletes are currently competing on esports teams.

In conjunction with this initiative, which was the brainchild of the college’s Office of Communications & Creative Services, the college has repurposed an out of use planetarium to create an Esports Arena equipped with 20 Alienware PCs with headsets and six Nintendo Switch consoles. Students play eight games competitively and at nine at the club level, based on their interests. The most popular games include: Overwatch 2, Valorant, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

In addition to creating connections and fostering a lively campus community, Esports is an excellent platform for experiential learning, including communication skills, interpersonal skills, and collaboration. Moreover, Esports can have a big impact on enrollment and retention in the following ways:

· Esports especially appeal to young men of all backgrounds during a time when men are underrepresented on college campuses.
· Esports are also a big draw for young women. According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) 48% of gamers identify as female.

Survey Data from Extreme Networks and eCampus News state that:

- 88% of schools with Esports programs in place said that their program diversifies extracurricular activities.
- 56% of schools said that it improves overall campus experience.
- 47% of schools said Esports fosters interest in STEM.
- 41% said Esports helps with student recruitment.

Patricia Bice, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management said, “By creating a fun, supportive atmosphere for casual play and competition, we’re pleased to be able to offer new opportunities for students to socialize in person which has important benefits to their mental health and wellbeing.”

Dr. Bice adds, “While our enrollment has seen an increase this year, we’re also excited about the potential Esports has for attracting students and keeping them engaged on campus.”

At this time several dozens of Purchase students have expressed interest in joining an Esports team or playing recreationally, while more than 25 students are already actively involved.

Everett Currier, a senior Anthropology and Communications major, said, “I think the arena is a welcome addition to Purchase College. The reality is, Esports is a large sector of entertainment, and I’m proud our school embraces that. The arena in its current state is already amazing, with a great environment and equipment. I can’t wait to see where it goes beyond now as well!”

Senior Theatre and Performance major Link Hagerty said, “Esports is a vital part of my routine and allowed me to connect with more students about something I’m truly passionate about. Having an arena is such a pleasure, and I am always excited for the next match. Win or lose it’s always a good time.”

About Purchase College, SUNY
Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspiration for Purchase was to create a dynamic campus that combined conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences, in order to inspire an appreciation for both intellectual and artistic talents in all students. Today, Purchase College, SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit www.purchase.edu.
Purchase College, SUNY
Betsy Aldredge