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Illinois College launches collegiate esports team

3.24.2017

Jacksonville, Ill. - Illinois College announces the expansion of its athletic program to include competitive video gaming, commonly known as esports, joining a growing number of college and university programs across the country. 

“Illinois College is building an international reputation for inspiring achievement and empowering students to make a difference in the world and our esports program is one more way we’re preparing students to Graduate READY for success in the 21st-century,” said Stephanie Elpers Chipman, vice president for enrollment and marketing. “Gaming teaches strategic thinking, work ethic, teamwork, perseverance, and creativity, all of which correspond well with IC’s mission to provide a strong liberal arts education.”

Competitive gaming is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing recreations in the world. Esports has grown from a fan base of 89 million in 2014 to over 150 million in 2017, a number roughly equal to the fan base of the National Football League, and is projected to exceed $1 billion in annual revenue by 2019.  Over 90% of high school students regularly play video games. 

The College’s new League of Legends team will consist of two co-ed teams, a Blue and a White, much like a varsity and junior varsity team. Each will have six members, five starters, plus an alternate, and will be lead by new IC esports head coach, Christian Matlock. Illinois College will participate in the Collegiate Starleague (CSL) and the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE). Scholarships are available.

“Coach Matlock brings exciting experience working in esports at the collegiate and professional level,” said Athletic Director Mike Snyder. “He’s a great addition to IC’s coaching staff.” 

The new esports facilities will be located in the heart of campus within the Caine Student Center and include ten computer gaming stations and a console gaming station.

Illinois College is currently recruiting students for the 2017-2018 esports teams. Students interested in joining this program can fill out the League of Legends Interest Form. For more information, please contact Christian Matlock, head coach of esports at christian.matlock@mail.ic.edu or at 217.245.3617
 
About Illinois College

Founded in 1829, Illinois College is a residential liberal arts college fostering academic excellence rooted in opportunities for experiential learning while preparing students for lifelong success. The college is located in Jacksonville, Ill. With an enrollment of about 1,000 students, the college offers over 50 undergraduate programs and a Master of Arts in Education degree program. In 1932 the society of Phi Beta Kappa established a chapter at Illinois College, and it remains one of only 11 in the state.

Illinois College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association.

Visit www.ic.edu or call 217-245-3467 for more information.

Media Contact Information
Office of Marketing and Communications
Bryan Leonard
Director of Marketing and Communications
217.245.3467

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