St. Ambrose University wants to help e-Sports grow in the Quad Cities. The new team is preparing for its first season as a member of the National Association of Collegiate e-Sports.
But St. Ambrose Athletic Director, Ray Shovlain, says the university is eager to help local gamers improve their skills. So, it created the "Fighting Bees Gaming League" for high school students. They'll play Overwatch, League of Legends, or Fortnite.
The new videogame league will compete at Paradigm e-Sports Gaming Center in Davenport.
"A lot of these young people are playing now, just like a number of the other sports we've started over the last several years. A lot of times, these student-athletes, or students, participate in a certain sport in the junior high, high school level and and then have no opoportunity, or no program to continue that interest at the collegiate level. And we feel like this has been a void."
Shovlain says adding an e-Sports team to the university was an easy decision.
"Here at St. Ambrose University, we've added a significant number of new sports over the last 10-15 years, and this is a sport that is gaining more and more popularity and interest, e-Sports and gaming, among young people. And we thought it was a great time to establish a program at the varsity level, e-Sport program, at St. Ambrose University, to offer the opportunity to student athtetes to come to the university and participate."
The Fighting Bees Gaming League will host weekly, open tournaments on Saturdays. Then starting in October, league competitions will be held on Tuesdays.
Paradigm e-Sports Gaming Center will hold a ribbon cutting Thursday at 4 PM, with the Director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. The grand opening will be held on Friday at 5 PM. The new videogame and virtual reality business is located in the 300 block of East 2nd Street.