LAKE CITY — Florida Gateway College has become the first NJCAA School in the State of Florida to formally announce the addition of a varsity esports team to its athletics program lineup. The team will begin competition in Fall 2021.

Esports has become one of the fastest growing areas of collegiate and professional competition in the United States and around the world. Organized by the National Junior College Athletic Association Esports (NJCAAE), esports are multiplayer online video game competitions viewed by spectators both in person and via livestream.

FGC currently has an esports club with more than 35 active members and almost 50 members including alumni, making it the largest social club on campus. The college will be stressing with all students the benefits of involvement in esports, including improvement in communication, teamwork, social and analytical skills, self-evaluation, critical thinking, determination and mental toughness.

“We are excited for this addition as we currently have a strong gaming community on our campus that competes through our student organizations, and the creation of our own varsity team will build upon that foundation,” said FGC Athletics Coordinator Rebecca Golden.

The NJCAAE currently has a fall and spring season with games like “Overwatch,” “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Brothers Ultimate” and “FIFA 20.”

FGC esports will be open to male and female players. To be eligible to try out for the FGC varsity team, the person must be a current FGC student in Fall 2021, meet all eligibility requirements set forth by NJCAAE and be on a path toward graduation. Like traditional sports, esports is a way for students to build school spirit and connect with peers. Having a varsity esports team will provide players and viewers alike another venue to share their gaming passion and pride in Florida Gateway College.

More information and future updates can be found at www.fgc.edu/discover/athletics/esports.

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