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SUNY Canton Forms All-Women Overwatch Team

SUNY Canton esports

The State University of New York (SUNY) Canton has launched an all-female Overwatch esports team.

The institution has been promoting equity in esports. In the last couple of years, the school has offered all-women's hours in the esports arena to expand access to the environment. The latest one, dubbed "WeSports," was hosted in December. At the time, Courtney Bish, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, explained that the school was hoping "to encourage women to take part in esports by showcasing our incredible facilities." She noted that the demographics for competitive gaming showed "a large discrepancy in participation between men and women. We are offering an opportunity for both serious women gamers and beginners to come and enjoy themselves in a welcoming atmosphere."

The college has a contingent of women who play almost every game, with female captains on three teams. In 2018, the school played an all-women's collegiate varsity esports match against Stephens College in Columbia, MO.

The six players on the newest team are coached by Admissions Counselor Kimberley Wise. "This is a very driven group of women," Wise said in a statement. "We want to get in the game and compete as much as anyone else." Students' majors include game design and development, graphic and multimedia design and veterinary technology.

Currently, about 80 SUNY Canton esports students are playing eight game titles, covering Overwatch, Hearthstone, Fortnite, League of Legends, Rocket League, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege.

In December 2019, the college announced that it had received final approval to offer a bachelor of business administration in esports management, a program that will begin next fall in both on-campus and online formats.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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