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July 14, 2020

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ONU joins Great Lakes Esports Conference

Competition Saturdays Sept. 21 through Nov. 16

Ohio Northern University has joined the Great Lakes Esports Conference which will be starting its inaugural season this fall.

Ohio Northern joins nine other local schools in the conference: Aquinas (Mich.), Lourdes, Mount Union, Mount Vernon Nazarene, Muskingum, Northwood (Mich.), Tiffin, Trine (Ind.) and Marietta.

The Polar Bears will be playing League of Legends and Overwatch in the conference.

ONU's head esports Coach Troy Chiefari is excited to compete and to have a local conference to be a part of for Ohio Northern's first esports season.

"It's nice to have a local conference to join to help a lot of these new esports student athletes acclimate themselves to competing in something they haven't had the chance to do underneath their school colors," Chiefari said.

"The GLEC also offers the first chance to start local rivalries and bonds between nearby schools. The biggest benefit to joining this conference is being able to easily schedule matches and hosting live events to watch them."

The first matches for the GLEC begin with a battle against Muskingum at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21.

ONU will compete each Saturday at 11 a.m. through Nov. 16 under the round-robin schedule format.

Ohio Northern offers scholarships for League of Legends and Overwatch players starting in the Fall '19. More games will be added for the 2020 academic year.

What is eSports? The Icon went to CNN for this description of eSports:
eSports describes the world of competitive, organized video gaming.

Competitors from different leagues or teams face off in the same games that are popular with at-home gamers: Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL, to name a few.

These gamers are watched and followed by millions of fans all over the world, who attend live events or tune in on TV or online.

Streaming services like Twitch allow viewers to watch as their favorite gamers play in real time, and this is typically where popular gamers build up their fandoms.