Northeastern State University has announced the creation of its first esports team in partnership with START in downtown Tahlequah.

The 20-student varsity team will compete remotely against other colleges in the video games “League of Legends” and “Overwatch.” The team hopes to add other games to its lineup over time. Selected students will also have the opportunity to receive one of 10 scholarships for $1,000.

“It’s an exciting time to be an NSU RiverHawk. Northeastern’s entry into the esports arena will be a popular choice along with our growing roster of student activities and clubs. We are grateful to START for their enthusiasm and support of this collaborative venture,” said NSU President Steve Turner.

“The esports industry is massive and growing, it's exciting to give NSU students an opportunity to enter the esport realm,” said START’s Adrien Nong. “Even if they aren't star players, the industry has an exceptional variety of careers that barely feel like work. I can't wait to see Oklahoma recognized in the competitive gaming world.”

Individuals can sign up for tryouts through July 31. Due to the amount of interest, entrance interviews will be conducted through Aug. 8 to determine participants for tryouts. START will host tryouts beginning Aug. 12 and continue until all positions are filled. NSU RiverHawks Esports Team members will be announced in September.

NSU Fitness Center Director Arron Edwards will lead the team as its adviser. He said he’s excited to see NSU’s esports program grow and become competitive.

“Esports is a rapidly growing sport, especially among the college age demographic,” Edwards said. “It will meet a need among our students and present a platform for NSU and the esports program to collaborate and compete with other institutions.”

For information about the NSU RiverHawks Esports team, tryouts and scholarship eligibility, email edward64@nsuok.edu or call (918) 444-3982.

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