Office of Student Life

Frequently Asked Questions

The esports program at Ohio State is comprised of several initiatives across academics, research, and student engagement. This list of frequently asked questions and answers will grow as new initiatives launch. 

What are esports? 

Esports are organized, team-based video game competitions in a global industry valued at billions of dollars annually. Twitch and YouTube Gaming have distributed billions of viewing hours. Spectators from around the globe increasingly watch a variety of personalities, competitions, and live tournaments. Esports includes competitive video game titles such as League of Legends (LoL), Rocket League, Overwatch, Valorant, and many others with a significant skill gap between casual and professional players.

Why collegiate esports?

Fans and players are a close match with our student population. Gaming provides a sense of belonging for students and potential career opportunities during and after college. Ohio State provides this opportunity to practice teamwork, develop career experiences and build leaders through our esports programs. Additionally, Ohio State’s competitive esports endeavor ties closely with research and academics, providing valuable research insights and co-curricular experiences.  

Is this an official varsity sport? 

Ohio State operates several “premier” esports teams to compete against other universities. These teams are not affiliated with Ohio State Athletics. There are open applications, selection criteria, and try-out processes for enrolled students to earn a spot on each team. Additionally, Ohio State students have managed and will continue to manage their own student organization-level teams.   

Tryout information for premier teams can be found here. Tryouts are normally held in the fall during and after the first few weeks of the semester. 

What scholarship teams will be supported? 

Scholarships are not yet available at Ohio State. Ohio State focuses on games that are team-based and can easily support school-against-school competition. Games for the competition will be selected based on popularity, the ability to participate in league/tournament play, and suitable content.

How can I participate in Ohio State Esports if I’m not on a Premier Team? 

The growing esports program at The Ohio State University regularly hires student staff in positions such as operating the Esports Arena, managing premier teams, and broadcast production for premier games, including livestream coordination and shout casting. We also have an internship position that operates close to our Esports Manager, John Price, which is a great way to get your start in the field of Esports. Look out for when we are hiring by following the OSU Esports Twitter @OhioStEsports. 

What is the esports facility like?

The Office of Student Life launched the esports arena in the fall of 2019. Located on the second floor of Lincoln Tower, this space allows all enrolled students to try out new gaming experiences, connect with each other through intramural competition and serve as the home base of our competitive teams. We’ve designed specific areas for team practice and competition, as well as a production studio where students can learn every role on a professional production line. Learn more about the facility.

Is this facility also open to the student body?

Yes. We want every enrolled Ohio State student to have access to the esports arena. We especially encourage those who may have had little to no exposure to some of the gaming systems we will have. Some games and virtual reality experiences have a higher cost of entry than some students might normally prioritize. This is a chance for us to offer exploration and career opportunities to as many students as possible. 

Are there student-player standards? 

Any competitor is required to maintain minimum grade point averages and remain in good standing with the university. Additionally, players are limited to a set number of hours for practice and esports-related responsibilities. 

What considerations are there for player wellness? 

Ohio State places a strong emphasis on the physical and mental wellness of all players, student managers and anyone involved in the program. Through partnerships with various Student Life and university departments, the esports program has developed guidelines to promote wellness and integrate key university resources toward that goal.