Help support our NIU Esports Varsity Student-Competitors!
What is NIU Esports?
NIU Esports is an inclusive program for gamers of all backgrounds, abilities and skill levels to play video games and have fun together.
Our goal is to position the NIU Esports varsity teams as national competitors and leaders of collegiate esports in northern Illinois and our clubs as welcoming places to support the social and educational aspects of video gaming.
The students who try out and are selected to be a part of our varsity teams are asked to devote around twelve hours each week to practice, play and other team activities. While these students are provided some of the same academic and personal support services as our traditional athletics student-athletes, we're excited to be able to reward these students for their dedication with financial assistance for the first time.
When we meet our fundraising goal, our students will be able to receive a $500 scholarship in the fall to help with tuition. Ideally, we’d like to increase the scholarships to $1,000 per year per varsity player, so we hope that you will consider leveling up to the next tier of giving to help our students increase their access to an affordable education.
However, every gift at any amount helps our varsity gamers! By starting this scholarship fund, we’re creating a place for donations throughout the year that will benefit current and future Huskie Esports Players who put an enormous amount of energy and enthusiasm to represent NIU in the Esports Collegiate Conference.
Through the Esports Arena on the DeKalb Campus, we've built a space to gather, play, compete and learn from one another.
GG House, our Esports Special Interest Community in Neptune East, is designed just for esports enthusiasts to live together, make friends, learn about careers in esports and, of course, play video games!
We hold events throughout the year to help connect NIU students, alumni, high school and community college students and anyone who enjoys playing video games.
Each year, we host an Esports Career Lecture Series, where industry professionals share the story of their path to a career in esports.
Promote healthy gaming practices
Our program puts gaming and competition into perspective. Our code of conduct promotes positive, constructive behavior, and emphasizes a balance between playing video games, studying, resting and building positive relationships. We find that by creating places to compete together in person, players look after one another and help support that balance.
Support new technologies in learning and research
Our Esports Arena provides an exciting setting for faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students to do esports-related research in their fields of study. We offer the opportunity to teach courses or conduct research studies using the equipment in our facilities.
Our Varsity Program
NIU is a founding member of the Esports Collegiate Conference (ESC) that officially launched in the summer of 2020. The 2020-21 academic year was our first competing in the ESC against the other Mid-America Conference member schools and Northeastern University. We have four varsity teams, playing Rocket League, League of Legends, Valorant and Overwatch. We currently have approximately 30 student players and three student coaches.
Each of our four teams practices and competes from the new NIU Esports Arena in Altgeld Hall, a dedicated space on campus that is also home to our current batch of esports computer setups. The space also serves students with open-play hours that help to spread awareness of the benefits of esports, while also providing a place for students to find community and have fun.
Choose a giving level
Grey - Common
Just like the loot in some of our favorite video games, a "common"-tier gift is an essential foundation!
Legendary loot, one of the hardest to obtain. In most games this loot drops after defeating bosses or completing challenging raids. For our campaign, every legendary donation will help provide enough support to fund one semester of a student's scholarship!