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Ranking National Collegiate Esports Programs

-Danny Appleford

Boise State University’s Esports program has only been around for three years, but has made waves in the collegiate scene. With numerous tournament appearances, great content production, and a broadcasting team, Boise State is a force within esports. However, how do they compare to other collegiate programs? Here is a list of the top five collegiate esports programs.

1) Maryville University

Maryville University created their esports program in 2015 and soon became one of the biggest names in college esports. They first made a name for themselves after winning the 2016 League of Legends championship with a 40-0 record. Maryville University is currently a finalist for the collegiate category in the 2020 Esports Awards.

2) Miami University (Ohio)

Miami University of Ohio is a D1- Athletic university and started scholarship opportunities for competitive esports students in 2016. In 2017, their Overwatch team finished first at the NACE Overwatch tournament. Miami University also offers summer programs where students can train like their varsity esports players.

3) University of California at Irvine (UC)

UC Irvine became the first public university to create a varsity esports program and primarily focus on Overwatch and League of Legends. They currently offer scholarship opportunities of up to $5,000 for their League of Legends players and up to $2,500 for Overwatch. They currently have one of the biggest esports facilities which houses over 70 gaming computers.

4) Boise State University

Boise State University is also a D1- Athletic university and currently has six different games we compete in. Our primary focuses are League of Legends and Overwatch, but we have also recently expanded into Valorant. We have an entire esports facility that houses our gaming setups and broadcast stations. Along with our impressive performance in tournaments, Boise State also offers an expansive program for those looking to get into esports without competing. Chris “Doc” Haskell was just voted Coach of the Year for the work he does for this program.

5) University of Utah

The University of Utah created their esports program in 2017, however, they have quickly become one of the top esports programs in the nation. They offer scholarships of around $1,000 for their players and currently compete in League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Overwatch.

Boise State  has impressed many with our expansive esports program. However, there is still a long way to go. The collegiate esports scene is rapidly expanding and with it come additional opportunities. Boise State is promoting students who are looking to join the scene without competing, which is forming new positions to excel in.