Late last month, the Southwestern Athletic Conference announced the start date for its eSports division. The SWAC’s newest endeavor into eSports comes in at an opportune time due to COVID-19 canceling fall sports. This also marks the start of a partnership between the United States Air Force(USAF) and the SWAC.
SWAC commissioner Dr. Charles McClelland spoke with great elation about the new partnership. “We’re extremely excited to partner with the United States Air Force in this new venture that will bring exciting on-site activations of eSports platforms to our league.” The partnership is said to feature “state of the art” gaming opportunities for fans of the league, student-athletes, and supporters.
Major Ross McKnight who is the chief of national events for the United States Air Force spoke highly of the deal as well. “It is our honor to partner with the SWAC and inspire the nation’s next generation of leaders.” E-sports have taken off more in recent times with leagues sprouting up across the country. Many schools have already taken up the craze so the SWAC following suit truly solidifies its standing in athletics.
These leagues include a great variety of games and genres as well. Big-time sports titles such as NBA2K and EA Sports’ Madden have become mainstays in the eSports scene. In the SWAC titles such as Fortnite, Super Smash Brothers, Rocket League, and newcomer Valorant will also be played. At its core, this move was very strategic on the part of the SWAC who has looked to expand its amount of sports offerings.
For SWAC commissioner McClelland, this was also a great opportunity to show the vast capabilities of HBCUs. “The USAF has consistently shown their commitment to the overall advancement of HBCUs and we view this partnership as yet another example of the positive ways we can partner collectively to bring high level sports entertainment to the wide range of events hosted by the Southwestern Athletic Conference.” The league begun play on September 1.