The following is a press release from the College of Eastern Idaho.
IDAHO FALLS – The College of Eastern Idaho is seeing success in collegiate-level esports competition. This fall semester, CEI had competitive teams finish the regular season at the top of their respective divisions. There are seven CEI competition teams. Four of the teams will advance to the playoffs and attempt to bring home the first competitive title in the CEI Esports trophy case.
The semi-final game against SMU (Southern Methodist University) will take place on Monday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. A watch party is taking place in the CEI cafeteria in building 3.
CEI Esports officially launched its program on March 1st, 2021. Growth since that date has increased exponentially. As of November 15, over 2,000 students have attended the CEI Esports Lab. These students have either competed for a CEI-affiliated esports team or have come to play video games leisurely.
Tucker Cooper, CEI Esports Coordinator, said, “I’m proud of the esports program at CEI! I could never have imagined seeing so much growth in such a short amount of time. I am very happy that we are already in the playoffs!”
This growth has been recognized by the local schools in the area, both high schools and colleges. As it stands, CEI is one of two schools in Idaho that have a varsity program. The other school is Boise State University, which is nationally recognized for excellence in competition. CEI Esports competes in the NACE (National Association of Collegiate Esports) and NJCAAE (National Junior College Athletic Association Esports) collegiate leagues.
At the start of Fall 2022 semester, CEI recorded the best participation in competitive esports tryouts. Over 100 CEI students participated in the tryouts. From this turnout, CEI was able to field seven competitive teams, including five varsity teams and two junior varsity teams.
Currently, the CEI Falcons are fielding competitive rosters for Apex Legends, Halo Infinite, League of Legends, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The eSports program is to be expanded to Overwatch 2 during the winter break. They are expected to field two more teams in Overwatch, a varsity team and a junior varsity team.
According to LenovoEDU, esports gaming, like other competitive sports, helps students develop discipline, learn new skills, and build engaged communities. Also, eSports can foster an inclusive community that is largely independent of physical ability, gender, location, and other factors.