WAUSAU – Northcentral Technical College has launched collegiate esports for the fall 2019, NTC announced this week.

“Esports is one of the fastest growing sports in the world,” said Darren Ackley, NTC’s vice president for learning, in a news release. “Students who join our esports team will have the opportunity to pursue their passion for gaming while earning a degree in one of our 150+ industry driven programs.”

The college will initially compete in three games, Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League. The varsity esports team will compete as a member of the National Association of Collegiate esports, the governing body for esports.

A position on the esports roster will be competitively available to all NTC students. Three varsity teams made up of 14-28 members will compete in collegiate leagues against teams from across the United States.

“We anticipate that faculty from our academic programs will collaborate closely with the esports teams to create pathways for our students to experience hands-on learning while earning digital badges in game design and creation,” Ackley said. “Through participation on our competitive esports teams, students will gain skills in leadership, communication and teamwork.”

The teams will compete and practice in a new, state of the art esports arena at the NTC Wausau campus. The 1,200-square-foot arena will feature 24 high end gaming computers, chairs and desks. The space will also feature a 98” TV for reviewing film as a team, as well as a three additional TVs with console gaming stations for game boxes. A broadcast room will be attached to the arena for casters and analysts to live stream and commentate on games. When not being used by the varsity esports team, the space will be available to student groups, local K-12 districts and other community organizations.