Is America ready for eSports? You ask what are eSports? Well, eSports, also known as electronic sports, are a form of competition playing video games. There are amateur competitive video games, collegiate games and professional games or pro gaming where players and teams are officiated by a third party (referee).

eSports are very popular in Asia, with North America and Europe seeing an increase as well. Some estimates show some 28 million eSports fans are out there and that number is growing by 21 percent a year. One of the larger sites is TWITCH with 55 million users. Advertisers are seeing the value of eSports as well as companies like Coke, Nissan, Logitech and Red Bull are now sponsors according to ESPN The Magazine’s June 22nd eSports edition.

If you think it’s not happening here, think again. Culver Stockton College will be starting up their eSports program next year and is actively recruiting players now. The program will actually fall under the I.T. (Internet Technology) Department and not the Sports Department.

In October Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri announced it too will start up an eSports program at their school. One obvious advantage for schools doing eSports is to eliminate travel expenses. Another is additional enrollment opportunities for potential players.

At some locations, big screens are set up as one school plays against another and fans go to watch the screen and root on their player or players. eSports is just one more addition to the ever changing technology playing field.