Northeast Iowa Community College recently announced the launch of their very own esports program for interested students at both its Peosta and Calmar campuses. The program will be open to anyone, beginning this upcoming Fall semester.

“Competitive video gaming is exploding in popularity and many colleges are adding competitive Esports programs,” said NICC Director of Student Life Kara Popp. “The more we talked to students, and the more research we did, we really felt like this would be a great next step to offering students another avenue outside the classroom to get engaged, build community and have some fun at the same time.”

The Cougars will be competing within the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports conference, which will put them up against the over 145 different community colleges also a part of the NJCAAE. While NICC hasn’t decided on what core games to compete in, the offering includes a wide variety, such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, and many others.

Building Community at Northeast Iowa through Esports

Many NICC students have already expressed their interest in joining the forthcoming program, including the Esports Club Student Chair Wesley Miller.

“I’m super excited. It has always been a dream to bring competitive gaming to Northeast Iowa Community College,” Miller said.

Miller was one of the first people at NICC that understood the possibilities and benefits of bringing esports to his school. Now, he’s student chair of the school’s Esports club, pushing for greater involvement from their athletics department.

“Gaming just brings a whole idea of community, team building and mental exercise,” Miller said. “When I started playing more highly advanced games, I started learning more skills like advanced mechanics that I was actually able to apply in real life.”

The inclusion of esports this Fall is the second athletic program at the school alongside Sports Shooting.

In other news, FaZe Clan recently announced their new Valorant team roster change in time for VCT Stage 2 Challengers, which you can read about here.

Written by Carter Barnes