Delaware Valley University adds esports to roster of athletics

Del Val looking to build team of 20 to 30 competitive gaming players

Paul Kurtz
September 20, 2018 - 10:06 pm
Esports Program Director Chris Shriver

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The esports craze is moving into the college ranks. 

Delaware Valley University will be joining more than 80 other colleges across the country when it fields its first competitive gaming team next spring through the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Esports Program Director Chris Shriver said he'll be searching for 20 to 30 players.   

"In the fall we'll have exhibition games, get a feel for the involvement on current students and what games they want to play," he said. "We know for sure we want to start with the game 'Overwatch.' "

Team members will wear uniforms, play in their own dedicated space, and stream their tournaments on Twitch. Athletic Director Steve Cantrel is taking this new sport very seriously — right down to the regular workouts with a trainer.

"They have to become very skilled as a team, much like a basketball team going down the court running a play," he said. "The same things happen in esports."

"What they'll have to do is have certain amount of days or hours that they have to be in the gym and then work with trainers on things like carpal tunnel and arthritis to try to prevent that because it's such a Twitch thing and it's taxing on the hands and wrists," continued Shriver. "We want to make sure that they're taken care of."

Smaller schools such as Division III Del Val have fueled the rapid growth of college esports in recent years, but the bigger Division I teams are now starting to jump in — and they are dangling scholarship money in front of recruits.