Saint Xavier University (SXU) has launched its first-ever esports program, which began competition this fall for the 2022-23 season.
SXU will be among the first colleges in Chicago to roll out organized competitive leagues.
““Collegiate esports focus on inclusivity and bring together a diverse group of students who may not have otherwise had opportunities to connect with each other,” said Matt Cunningham, director of Athletics.
The SXU esports program, part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), has a traditional structure similar to collegiate sports. The team currently competes in five titles: League of Legends, Overwatch, Valorant, Rocket League, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The team is rapidly growing, with 40 competitors in just the first semester of competition.
Led by head coach Lemar Daniels, who has several years of esports experience and multiple team accomplishments under his leadership, the team already has a series of victories and plans to continue its winning tradition.
In addition to being a unique part of collegiate sports, the esports team at SXU provides opportunities for the students, including the chance to gain and enhance real-world skills through work with broadcasting, production, social media, and team management. Student-athletes gain experience in collaboration, team-building, problem-solving, communication, leadership, and critical thinking.
Currently recruiting for the 2023-24 season, Daniels looks forward to the future of SXU esports and hopes to cultivate a culture of leadership and success with a focus on ensuring diversity throughout the program.
As competitive gaming continues to grow, we are building the foundation for high-level competition in collegiate esports while delivering the SXU promise to educate for competence, character, and career success,” Daniels said.