Culver-Stockton College Launches Varsity Esports Program

Collegiate Star League

The golden age of collegiate esports continues to rise and it seems to be centered primarily around the midwest, as another University in the Missouri Valley has announced a Varsity Esports initiative.
Officials at Culver-Stockton College unveiled the new esports addition to their Varsity sports programs at a press conference this past week on October 11th.

The conference was held after news broke that the Canton, MO school would be becoming a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports early that day.

The school stated that the scholarships will be awarded to recruited competitors in a variety of games.

The announcement follows the trend of schools within the Midwest, such as Columbia College, Southwest Baptist University, Lourdes University, and more, creating varsity esports teams within the last year.

Collegiate Starleague caught up with Benjamin Stevens, the head of the student lead esports club at the school, to get more information on the announcement.

He told CSL that the process began with a proposal to the University.

“I, along with the person who founded our student organization, was invited to serve on a board with the head of IT, head of athletics, a marketing chair, a financial aid chair, and an admissions chair in order to draft a white paper to present to the board of trustees in order to create a program here,” Stevens explained.

According to Stevens, the board researched the necessary start up and facility costs last year, prior to the presentation to the trustees. The next step was funding.

“After that…..the board agreed it would benefit Culver-Stockton college and so the search for donors was brought up.”

That’s where the Johnson Family came in, donating the costs for the beginnings of the program.

“We were lucky and the Johnson family was willing to donate enough to build a room on campus,” said Stevens. “along with paying for all computers, twelve, and gaming chairs, headsets, mice, keyboards and the games.”

He added that they donated enough for to provide for a coach during a three year period and a student worker position within the program.

Stevens told CSL that the program plans to compete in League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch and possibly other games, with recruitment of new players beginning soon.

“The recruitment side will be mainly new as all of our current players that have high rankings graduate at the end of the year.” he explained. “It’s…. similar to how application for a football or soccer player would apply [to the program]. We actually have our first potential recruit coming next week and it’s a girl.”

The program will have its facilities based in the newly opened Brown Residence Hall.

For more information about the announcement or if you’re an interested student, you can visit the website here.