MISSOULA — As universities around the country add video gaming to their list of campus activities, the University of Montana is following suit.
UM officially began recognizing the Grizzly Esports team as a legitimate sport this Fall, complete with a student conduct code and GPA requirement. The team made its campus debut on Sunday at an exhibition held in UM’s newly created Innovation Factory.
The team has around 90 members in total with 60 who compete regularly. While some members are seasoned gamers, the team also welcomes anyone that walks in the door. Esports director Michael Cassens says it’s the inclusion of the team that makes it such a popular activity on campus.
“They have created this community organically, you know they’re joined together because of gaming and I think that’s something universal to everyone regardless of whether it’s an in person board game or video game. They come together and create this really safe place for them to know one another which I think is wonderful.”
University of Montana President Seth Bodner says that with the school’s new degree in interactive media and game design, having an eSports team just makes sense.