May 21, 2019 - Sports

NCAA decides not to delve into college esports

Kids playing pc games esports

Members of an esports team play a PC match in the League Championship Series for League of Legends. Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

After months of internal discussion, the NCAA has opted not to govern and hold championships for collegiate esports, Sports Business Journal reports.

The backdrop: The NCAA hired a consulting firm to research what esports would look like under their umbrella. Long story short, they don't really know.

  • It was unclear how an esports championship would work and whether winnings would affect college scholarship opportunities. The board also wasn't sure if esports would be considered a fall, winter or spring sport.

Why it matters: Had the NCAA decided to get into esports, it would have instantly provided much-needed infrastructure for an industry that lacks a true talent pipeline. So this stings a little bit.

  • The other side: The NCAA may have blocked players from earning prize money, which is a huge aspect of professional gaming. Plus, the industry is already attempting to create professional pathways on its own, so it might not need the NCAA.

The bottom line: The NCAA is done with esports for now, leaving third-party organizations to continue growing the industry and establishing leagues and competitions.

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