Lookout for the latest Griz team at UM: Esports
Grizzly Esports team poses at the December Esports Exhibition, hosted by the Innovation Factory
January 7, 2019 - This fall Esports was officially recognized as a sport on the Universtiy of Montana campus. After advertising the new team at Welcome Feast, a stunning 60 students signed up to participate on the very first day. As of December, 90 students participate with the team in some capacity. Interested athletes must tryout for the varsity and junior varsity teams in five games played (League of Legends, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Rocket League and Super Smash Brothers) but the esports program does not cut players.
In Decemeber, the team held their first Esport Exhibition. Seth Bodnar, his son, and Monte all turned out to play some Smash Bros with the competitiors.
"One stereotype the group is trying to break is that gamers just want to be in their dorm room or in their apartment, and they don’t want to interact with anybody else, Cassens said. In fact, a social and academic community is forming among team members.
'So we say, "No we actually want you to be together so you’re going to be on this team, you have to come to the training room and train together, and be with one another and change that perception and change that conversation,"' he said. 'And they realized just how much they enjoy being around each other.'"
"Provost Jon Harbor said the esports team ties directly into new learning and research opportunities that are being developed at the university, including a concentration in game design and interactive media that Cassens has proposed.
'This is a high demand area of study,' Harbor said. 'We’re both responding to student demand and interest, but in an area that overlaps with student opportunities.'
He said the concentration can lead students to high-growth and high-paying positions in the workforce, adding the skills can be used for jobs involving things like flight simulation or drone operation."
Read the full Missoulian article online.