Illinois College to launch League of Legends college team in September

Illinois College has announced it’ll be starting a competitive gaming team for League of Legends this September.

The American university had to cancel a youth esports camp earlier this month due to a low number of sign ups however, according to the Jacksonville Courier, who broke the news, Illinois College esports coach Christian Matlock has said he hopes to try again next year, after the competitive team inspires more players.

The announcement regarding the competitive team came in March, with the college issuing a statement which quoted the school’s vice president of enrollment and marketing Stephanie Elpers Chiman saying: “Illinois College is building an international reputation for inspiring achievement and empowering students in the 21st-century. Gaming teaches strategic thinking, work ethic, teamwork, perseverance, and creativity, all of which correspond well with IC’s mission.

For now, the school will field a single team, with five players and an alternate, to play Riot’s League of Legends. Looking to the future, Matlock believes there could be both varsity and junior teams, both comprising of five players and a sub, but only time will tell if the game catches on.

The team will be competing in the Collegiate Starleague, and could potentially make appearances are other college level tournaments, many of which are springing up in the wake of American colleges making big steps in official esports participation.

So far, they have a single player for the September start. “We have one confirmed, but we have had a lot of interest from other potential students and from current students,” said Matlock.

“We have a big gaming community at Illinois College.”

This could be a good launching point for a professional career for one lucky student, because not only is a convenient way to justify playing League of Legends during study-time, it’s also a way to get familiar with the organisation and structure of a professional team, and how competition occurs.

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