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In 2018, MU became pioneers in the Southeastern Conference when it announced the conference’s first varsity eSports team.

This fall, Missouri will embark on its maiden voyage into the world of collegiate eSports.

Missouri is led by coach and general manager Kevin Reape, who attended MU and joined the student affairs staff after graduation.

The Tigers will compete in three popular multiplayer games during the season: “League of Legends,” “Overwatch” and “Rocket League.”

ESports is a new face on the sports scene because of the rising popularity of video games and online streaming sites like Twitch and Mixer. However, eSports has, in one form or another, been around for the last 15-20 years with games such as “Halo” and “StarCraft”.

ESports revolves around competitive gaming between either individuals or teams of players. Rules differ game to game, but the goal remains the same as in any other sport: win.

”Rocket League” is a 3-on-3 game in which players use rocket-powered cars to score goals. It will be the first game in which Missouri competes.

The game is similar to soccer, teams have strikers and goalies and the team that scores the most goals in a set amount of time wins the match.

“Overwatch” is a competitive, team-based shooter with the goal of capturing and holding points or moving a payload from point A to point B. Each team has six players consisting of two supports, two tanks and two DPS (damage per second) heroes.

”League of Legends” is one of the most popular competitive games in the world.

“League of Legends” takes two five-player teams and pits them against each other. The teams attempt to destroy the other’s “Nexus,” which lies in the heart of each teams’ base.

The Tigers will compete in their 5,000-square-foot gaming lab located in MU’s Center Hall.

Missouri began its recruiting in December with the commitment of freshman Arabella McEntire to its “Overwatch” team.

On April 2, the Tigers announced they would be adding “Rocket League” to the list games they would be competing in.

Since August, Missouri has been competing in non-collegiate “Rocket League” tournaments, winning both the Exalted eSports and Alpine eSports tournaments. The Tigers also hosted their first 3-on-3 “Rocket League” tournament Tuesday against 80 collegiate teams, which Missouri won.

The “League of Legends” and “Overwatch” teams have both been practicing and scrimmaging in preparation for their seasons as well.

It was announced by Tespa on Tuesday that Missouri was one of 12 teams selected to compete in the 2019 Overwatch Varsity Invitational.

Missouri eSports begins its inaugural season when the official season kicks off in late September. The Tigers’ matches will be streamed on Twitch.

This article originally ran on columbiamissourian.com.

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