The University of Montevallo has announced the development of its first Esports team. UM will join the Peach Belt Conference as an associate member for Esports and will begin full participation in fall 2019, playing “League of Legends” from Riot Games.

“We are beyond excited to be launching our first UM Esports team within the Peach Belt Conference. Being the first structured college Esports team in the state of Alabama is something that is uniquely Montevallo,” said University of Montevallo CIO Craig Gray, who was instrumental in the development of the team. “We have a reputation for combining high-quality academics with distinctive programs that educate the whole student. Esports is the fastest-growing segment of competition in the world, and we at UM want to be on the leading edge.”

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The initial tryouts for the team will be held Saturday, March 9, on the UM campus. The university is recruiting students to fill 15 spots on the inaugural team, with many of the players receiving partial scholarships. As the program grows, future plans include a 30-person team, a full-time coach and additional competitive game titles. Potential titles include “Smite,” “Rocket League,” “Overwatch,” “Hearthstone,” “Dota 2” and “Fortnite.”

While team tryouts will include a remote option, the key adviser and first-year coach, Brendan Beal, encourages individuals to come to campus. “We are urging all potential players to show up in person,” said Beal. “Overall, if you are an interested high school student, college student or just want to see what our new Esports team at the University of Montevallo is all about, you should show up to tryouts that day.”

The PBC is the first NCAA conference in any division to offer Esports as a conference championship event and was the first to hold an in-person tournament in March 2018. The conference entered its second regular season of “League of Legends” in January and is a part of Riot’s College League of Legends Season with the league’s champion and runner-up advancing to the national championship play-in round.

Learn more about UM Esports at montevallo.edu/e-sports. The university will release more details regarding the upcoming tryouts soon.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)