ESports are coming to the University of Kentucky. According to Bloomberg, UK is partnering with professional esports franchise Gen.G to create a competitive video-gaming program. While several colleges across the country have embraced esports, UK is the first to partner with a major professional franchise.
UK will have classes on gaming, gaming teams, and a dedicated space on campus for gamers to train; however, esports will operate outside of the school’s athletic budget since it’s not considered an NCAA sport. Several departments will be involved with esports, including the colleges of communication, engineering, education, and even medicine.
Eric Monday, UK’s executive vice president for finance and administration, said the school hopes the new program will help attract students and create opportunities.
“We go into a lot of high schools, a lot of communities, and one of the biggest questions they’re asking is, ‘What’s your esports strategy at UK? So this is a huge market opportunity.”
Gen.G has offices in Seoul, Los Angeles, and Shanghai. Last month, they announced they were launching a China-based team in the NBA’s esports league. Earlier this month, the UK Basketball team played the new Call of Duty Team vs. the UK Esports Team:
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) October 3, 2019
I can’t wait to hear Ryan Lemond’s reaction to this.