Bufalo, NY - A new generation of student-athletes is joining the league of club sports at Canisius. Esports (or electronic sports) are a competitive form of computer gaming that’s making serious inroads in the college sports arena. So much so that this fall, Canisius College opened a state-of-the-art Esports center to house the new club sport. Outfitted with 12 top of the line PCs and new Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PS4 gaming consoles, the Esports center is housed in the basement of Palisano Pavilion.
“As institutions like Canisius work to attract and engage undergraduate students, understanding the growth of Esports among our target demographic is vital,” Canisius Athletic Director Bill Maher ‘89 says. “The discussions on campus with interested students have led us to some very interesting conversations, and have been the genesis for the steps we have taken to organize our Golden Griffin Esports teams.”
Canisius is somewhat of an outlier in the higher education arena of Esports. Since it came into existence in 2014, only 1,000 colleges and universities across the country have launched Esports club and even varsity teams.
Currently, 40 students participate on Canisius’ Esports team, which is sanctioned by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). Players vie for titles in such games as League of Legends, FIFA, Fortnite and SuperSmash Bros., and compete against collegiate opponents that include MAAC rivals Quinnipiac University, Siena College, Marist College and Iona.