Oakland University adds varsity esports team to athletics program

Posted at 10:50 AM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-06 14:56:35-05

Oakland University added a varsity esports team to its athletic program.

It is the first Division 1 university in the state of Michigan to have one.

The team will begin competing in fall 2020. The university also announced a partnership with the Detroit Renegades professional esports team based at GameTime in Auburn Hills.

Esports, or electronic sports, is defined as competitive multiplayer gaming.

“Esports continues to grow and I expect that trend to continue,” said Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz in a news release. “Oakland University wants to embrace esports and be on the leading edge of this revolution.”

“We are very fortunate to have the support and mentorship of the Renegades. Based at GameTime, the partnership with a professional esports team will provide support and expertise as the University launches its esports initiatives,” said Steve Waterfield, director of Athletics for Oakland University, in a news release. “Plus, the fact that GameTime is so close to our university is an added benefit.

OU's teams will initially compete in three games: League of Legends, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros., with the team being comprised of 10-12 players.