Illinois Wesleyan to Launch Esports

Esports is one of the fastest growing collegiate team activities, such as the group pictured here. 

April 6, 2017 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Illinois Wesleyan University will launch a varsity Esports program — competitive online video gaming — beginning in the fall of 2018.

One of the fastest growing collegiate team activities, Esports is now offered by more than 600 colleges and universities across the country. Through Esports, teams of competitors representing their institutions compete in online competition. And for those who would rather watch than play, they are not alone. Riot Games’ “League of Legends” 2016 World Championships was viewed by approximately 43 million people, up from 36 million in 2015.

“We are excited about recruiting highly talented, technology-savvy team players for our community through Esports,” said Karla Carney-Hall, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “We know that Esports will enhance student learning and leadership while also creating opportunities for community building on campus.”

To help build excitement and a sense of community for the launch of Esports at Illinois Wesleyan, the University will participate in the National Association of Collegiate Esports’ inaugural National Invitational with streaming through the University’s Twitch channel.

In addition, students and employees can watch and cheer for the five students who have volunteered to represent Illinois Wesleyan playing “League of Legends” on April 12 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Memorial Center Davidson Room. Sherff Endowed Professor of Botany David Bollivar and student Mason Mitchell, Class of 2020, are scheduled to provide color commentary of the action.

Prospective students seeking information about Illinois Wesleyan’s Esports program can contact Andrew Reddington at or call (309) 556-3276. For updates and more information, follow IWU Esports on Facebook.