(Photo by Hannah Smith/ESPAT Media for Mastercard via Getty Images)

The team will launch in fall 2019.

By Kaelen Jones
January 30, 2019

Marquette University recently announced that it will launch a varsity esports team in fall 2019, marking the first put together by a major conference Division I institution.

Per release, Marquette's esports team will function like its other varsity sports. Tryouts will be held, a coach will be hired, practices will be held, and the team will represent Marquette during tournaments. It is unclear if scholarships will be allotted to players.

Marquette has had an esports club team since 2015 with roughly 40 students participating—most of whom major within STEM study fields. They will represent the school at Big East-sponsored tournaments.

"Marquette has been closely watching the development of esports, both as a global trend and as an integral part of the future of the Big East Conference," said Bill Scholl, Marquette vice president and director of athletics. "We expect that our varsity esports team will collaborate closely with our Department of Computer Science, positively impact student recruitment, and provide an avenue for leadership development and teamwork opportunities for students who may not otherwise have been engaged in activities outside the classroom."

Corporate partners and donors will collaborate with Marquette to build an area for the varsity esports team to practice on campus together. Multiple gaming systems, dedicated broadcast and production station, plus a "casual, console gaming area" will be created for the team, and will be made available to student groups and activities when the esports team is not using it.

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