The University of Texas at Arlington welcomes its newest sports team with the creation of a varsity-level esports program. Esports involves players competing through a multiplayer video game, often with an audience. Although UTA has an active esports club, creating an official program allows students to compete against other colleges in national tournaments.
Like any sports team, students try out to earn a spot. The three UTA teams compete in games such as Overwatch, Rocket League and League of Legends. Students compete in the Battle 4 Texas tournament, which has a $10,000 cash prize. The Tespa Overwatch Collegiate: Varsity Series, another competition, offers students scholarships and prizes. In addition to creating an official program, the University of Texas at Arlington embraces esports through its academic programs.
UTA has recently begun offering an eSports Management Certificate. Students have the opportunity to take classes on subjects such as esports business strategies, branding and marketing, project management and player and team management. With the creation of a certification, UTA is preparing students for employment opportunities in one of the fastest-growing industries. In fact, the esports industry is expected to reach over $100 billion in revenue by 2020. UTA creating courses that teach students the necessary skills to be successful in this growing industry is an exciting way to support Arlington’s investment in esports.
Arlington is home to the country’s largest and most flexible esports stadium. The conversion of Arlington’s convention center to a $10 million esports stadium is the most significant commitment to esports that a city has ever made. Esports Stadium Arlington seats 2,500 people and is 100,000 square feet. With a world-class stadium, catering and VIP lounges, Esports Stadium Arlington is a popular place for businesses to host large-scale events.
In November, Esports Stadium Arlington will host the 2019 Esports Awards, the first time this awards ceremony has ever been hosted in the United States. This awards ceremony will bring tourism and an international spotlight on Arlington. At the State of the City Address, Arlington Major Jeff Williams explained how Esports Stadium Arlington is a part of the city’s innovation. He said, “we have positioned ourselves as both a national and international leader in the esports industry.”
Arlington’s commitment to esports contributes to the unique opportunities for tourism, entertainment and business in Arlington. With support from UTA, the community and the city, Arlington will continue to be pioneers in the esports industry.