TOWSON, Md. – The Landmark Conference will foster Esports competition for its member institutions during the spring semester of 2019. The Landmark’s Esports offering will represent one of the first conference-wide Esports ventures at the Division III level. Six of the eight conference members will field teams, with competition occurring via Riot Game’s League of Legends property.
The Landmark institutions that will sponsor Esports teams include Catholic University, Drew University, Elizabethtown College, Goucher College, Juniata College, and Moravian College.
A regular-season round-robin schedule shall take place in January and February. The top four teams shall qualify for a championship tournament. The conference champion and runner-up shall earn the right to participate in the College League of Legends national play-in tournament.
College League of Legends comprises more than 500 student-run clubs, 300 competitive teams, and more than 70 varsity Esports programs on college campuses across North America.
“The Landmark Conference was established due to an agreement among like-minded institutions that high standards for liberal arts education and athletic competition complemented one another,” stated Jim Troha, Chair of the Executive Board of the Landmark Conference and president of Juniata College. “The conference has also been responsive to student interest and innovation. It makes sense that the Landmark would be a leader in Division III for this new arena of student competition.”
Each Esports team must be recognized and sanctioned by its institution’s Office of Student Life/Affairs and/or athletic departments. Participants on each team must meet institutional requirements for good academic standing and be eligible to participate in school-sanctioned club or intercollegiate sports, as defined by the respective institution.
The addition of Esports offers campuses the opportunity for students not drawn to traditional athletic offerings to participate in a competitive environment and represent their respective institution. The offering of Esports also allows institutions a way to recruit students who may not have considered the institution.
The term “Esports” refers to interactive, competitive video gaming, through multiplayer formats on web platforms, often with professional competitors. While competitive video gaming has existed essentially since the advent of video gaming technology, Esports began to mature into its present state as streaming technology became more widely available. The first collegiate teams started to emerge in the mid-2010s.
The Landmark Conference formed in 2005 and began competition in the fall of 2007. The group of like-minded institutions from the mid-Atlantic region joined forces to organize and operate intercollegiate athletic competition in a manner that recognizes, as paramount, the centrality of the academic mission at each institution, while embracing the idea that athletics competition is an important component of the undergraduate experience. The conference sponsors 22 championships and 12 sports feature automatic qualifying bids to the NCAA Division III tournament.