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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Mid-America Christian University (MACU) is bringing esports to its athletics department this year.

“We are excited to add varsity esports to our list of team sports available to MACU students,” said Chief Operating Officer Jody Allen. “MACU has a long history of success in winning national championships in athletics and we expect to develop one of the top esports programs in the country.”

Esports will be joining men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, and volleyball as the eighth athletics program offered at MACU.

“We have students who love playing basketball or soccer. Some students have a passion for singing or theater,” Allen said. “We also have students who have a passion for video games and we want to tap into that talent and help them excel as students while doing an activity they enjoy.”

MACU esports will offer competitive play for Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros.

Scholarship opportunities will be available for esports athletes and they will be held to the same standards of excellence expected of other MACU student-athletes, said Allen.

“Esports has quickly become a worldwide sport and will soon surpass viewership of all professional sports combined,” he said. “We intend to offer the premier varsity program not just in Oklahoma, but in the country.”

To facilitate the new esports program, MACU is building an esports lab that is set to open this month.