Niagara University’s Esports program began its second season in the Electronic Gaming Federation Collegiate League on Monday, Oct. 5. Currently, 32 NCAA Division I institutions from the MAAC, the Big East, and others, including the University of Colorado, the College of William & Mary, Hofstra University, Wichita State University, and the University of Hawaii, compete in the league. Niagara is one of only a few of the 32 institutions that is fielding a team in all four of the EGFC featured title games: FIFA Soccer, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. 

“We are excited to be participating in EGFC again this academic year,” said Bill Newton, Esports administrative coordinator. “Our students are eager to compete against our MAAC rivals as well as other institutions from around the country. This exposure helps our Esports program and the university as a whole spread our brand nationwide and beyond.”

More than 50 Purple Eagles are members of the Esports Club, with about 30 of those students participating on one or more of the EGFC competitive teams. Because of social distancing limitations due to the coronavirus pandemic, the university’s Esports Lounge has been reconfigured to ensure the safety of the students who use it. In addition, because of the nature of the sport, students can also compete and interact from their residence hall rooms or homes. 

“One of the many benefits of Esports is there is an infrastructure that allows our students to connect with each other and Niagara University, whether students are meeting in the lounge or participating remotely,” Newton said. “I think that our students who are involved right now feel connected to each other and feel connected to Niagara. While our Esports program is still in its infancy, it’s a powerful and engaging experience that brings more and more of our students together.”

The EGFC season consists of weekly matches for each title and will run through mid-April 2021.

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