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Augustana Launches Varsity Esports Program

Augustana College

Augustana students can now play video games at the varsity level.

The college is launching its official esports program, offering the chance for students to compete in video game tournaments against other collegiate teams across the country.

Joe Loomis is the new coach of the esports program, which will be Augustana's first coed varsity athletic team. He explains the training regimen that his athletes use to maximize their performance.

Joe Loomis, the Director of Esports at Augustana College.
Joe Loomis, the Director of Esports at Augustana College.

"We look at skill development drills, practice scrimmages, video reviews. We're looking at physical workouts, we're looking at nutrition, sleep habits. We're working on the body, mind, and spirit."

In addition to the varsity and club esports programs, Augustana's new learning lab opening next year will offer opportunities for students to learn computer science and graphic design.

"You might not even be someone that plays video games, but we're going to create resume-building experiences for you within our facility that you're going to be able to utilize when you leave Augustana and go serve the global community as a whole."

The college joins over 175 institutions already offering varsity esports programs. The esports industry has generated more than $1 billion in revenue in past years, with that number only expected to rise as competitive video games become more accessible.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.
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