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ESports is the newest competitive program at UArizona

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TUCSON (KVOA) – Big news coming out of the University of Arizona… the university recently launched the state's first varsity ESports team.

Are we in the 21st century or are we in the 21st century? President Robbins approved the program and now it's being layed out and teams will be formed in the fall.

According the the interim director, there's three main pillars of the program. 1) the competition itself, 2) the academic side (Esports is a billion dollar industry) and 3) the student engagement aspect... they want to foster and build leadership within participants as well.

UArizona has already had a very successful Esports club, and now, they're making it a varsity-level sport.

"It's actually more of a sports program with each separate computer title being it's own sport. So, you have basketball, football, baseball. Well, with Esports you have league of legends, you have smash brothers," said the program's Interim Director Walter Ries.

When it comes to competition regulation, they're not regulated by the NCAA. Currently, there is an effort called "PAC-U Gaming" that was organized by organizations in PAC-12 schools. They have facilitated Egaming events in the past.

"This is a new era in entertainment," Ries added. "It's going to continue to grow."

The existing game room in the Student Union will be converted to what they're calling an Esports arena. The first phase of the renovation should be completed next month.

For more information on the program, click here.

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Frankie McLister

Frankie McLister is the Multimedia Journalist for News 4 Tucson Today. His interest in storytelling began when he was young and loves telling those of Southern Arizona.

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