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Eastern Michigan Hopes to Boost Enrollment with New Esports Agreement

Eastern Michigan University has signed a multi-year contract with Gen.G to run competitions for both college and high school students and organize K-12 camps. The deal is intended to help the institution accelerate its esports activities, helping to drive fall 2020 enrollment and differentiate the school from others in the region. Gen.G, which owns professional esports teams and runs academic esports programs, has similar programs with the Universities of Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Esports plans for Eastern Michigan include running an invitational where high school players pit their skills against college players, as well as hosting several online K-12 esports summer camps, including one specifically for female students.

In June and July, the university will host Super Smash Bros. tournaments every two weeks. High school teams in the region will be able to challenge the EMU Super Smash Club in friendly competitions to be streamed live on Twitch. Players will interact via Discord.

On the camp roster is "Gamer Girls Getting It Done," a three-day online camp that will run three times during the summer. Topics for the $99 camp will include lessons from top women in the industry, tips from streamers and pros and insights on producing esports events.

Other camps will be dedicated to Overwatch, Fortnite, League of Legends and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. And a five-day camp will provide an introduction to the gaming industry, where participants will get experience in game design and learn about tools used to create video games.

"We're proud to be the first in Michigan to truly integrate esports and gaming into our campus life and offer our students a platform to find a community here," said Calvin Phillips, associate vice president for Student Affairs, in a statement. "We know how important selecting a college or university is for a student, and we want to differentiate ourselves with a meaningful opportunity and educational platform at EMU."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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