WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- For those who don’t know, esports might just look like a group of people in a room playing video game tournaments. In essence that’s what it is, but it’s also a $1.1 billion dollar industry with a streaming audience that rivals the Super Bowl. On Wednesday, Northcentral Technical College announced that it would be making its way into the esports world.
"There was a group of us that pitched it to our president so she said that she loved it and we started going full boar on it probably like six months ago or so," NTC Vice President for Learning Dr. Darren Ackley said.
One of the things that interested the college is the large following of esports across the globe.
“esports is actually the number two watched sport after soccer,” NTC esports coach Jon DeGroot added.
Along with viewership, the college is hoping to fill some of the open jobs in the community with the incoming participants.
"There's a huge need in our industry and our area here for people with technology skills. We think esports will help to draw those students into NTC with those technology skills," Dr. Ackley explained.
Over the next few months NTC is building a brand new esports arena.
"There are a few tournaments in the fall. So we hope to have our arena completed in the fall so we can have tryouts and start practicing," DeGroot said.
But the benefits of the team aren’t only for the college. esports is believed to be a positive opportunity for incoming students as well.
"We think there's a lot of huge benefits for it as well. We know that it's going to build teammates and communication and a lot of the soft skills they'll need in the workplace," Dr. Ackley added.
Also giving students a chance to compete in a new way.
"Now we've given them their outlet and that ability to compete while still being successful as a student here," DeGroot said.
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