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NKU Joins Esports Collegiate Conference


May 12, 2021 —  Northern Kentucky University and Esports Collegiate (ESC) announce an agreement for NKU to become a full member institution beginning with the 2021 fall season.

“NKU is delighted to join the ESC conference. Our university’s participation in ESC will undoubtedly establish regional and national rivalries against universities that share a deep commitment to advancing student success and academic achievement,” said NKU President Ashish Vaidya. “We look forward to beginning a new era of competition and an opportunity to expand Esports offerings across the NKU campus.”

NKU becomes the second non-founding member to join ESC since the Conference was officially announced on June 10th, 2020. Northeastern University joined the conference in spring of 2021 and earned the first ever ESC League of Legends championship on March 28th.  The Norse will compete in all fall and spring competitions for Esports Collegiate, and will be featured in all ESC game titles going forward.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Northern Kentucky University to Esports Collegiate,” states Miami University President and Chair of the ESC Board of Directors, Dr. Greg Crawford, “Their advancement and innovation in the Esports landscape allows participating students to excel at the highest levels of collegiate Esports.”

The student-led NKU Esports Club has been around since 2016 and continues to grow. Officially launching their varsity program in October of 2020, this year the club swelled to nearly 600 active members. On March 26th of this year, the program unveiled ‘The Sandbox,’ the official arena of NKU Esports and a hub for students to practice and compete. The space features 11 state-of-the-art gaming stations and periphery equipment, as well as large monitors for fans to watch live competitions and game replays.

Over the last academic year, ESC completed its’ first official Rocket League, League of Legends, and Overwatch competition, naming an official champion in each game title. In the spring, an ESC record four teams were invited to the National Collegiate Overwatch Spring Tournament with ESC Champion Miami advancing to the round of 16.

“We are excited to add an institution like Northern Kentucky to our membership in 2021,” states ESC Executive Director Bob Gennarelli, “Their resume and commitment to their already growing program makes them a perfect fit for Esports Collegiate.”

NKU will begin ESC competition this fall. No official game titles have been selected. To learn more about NKU’s Esports program and ‘The Sandbox,’ visit its website.


About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit