Apr 25, 2017 12:13 PM EDT
On Thursday, Stephens College made history for pioneering the first all-women varsity-level eSports team. This spring, the college will start to compete in the Overwatch leagues.
ESPN reported that 16 months ago, college administrators Stephens College president Dianne Lynch and her colleagues began to discuss the idea of adding the eSports program to its roster. Stephens College joined the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) along with 30 other scholarship-sponsored programs. Other colleges across the country included nearby Columbia College.
President Lynch said the school's mission is to ensure that women can succeed and can make choices about anything they do in any environment and in any profession. There are other professional all-women teams out there, particularly strong in pro Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But Stephens is the first varsity collegiate program in the US.
The all-girl college is based in Columbia, Missouri, which plans to sport a roster of 12 players that includes 6 core players and 6 teammates on the bench. Try outs are open for interested gamers and is set to begin this summer. A team is set to form in August and compete this fall.
The team will begin competing in the game Overwatch, a game that is lauded for its character diversity and inclusiveness, which is a perfect fit for Stephens College. It was a hit with the students, which gave administrators more reason to be selected because of its diverse and strong female characters.
Stevivor reported, Overwatch players are especially the Stephens College team are eager to start the fifth season of competitive play in the Tespa series. The game is available on Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4.
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