Esports—electronic sports—will not become an official athletics sport at AACC until at least fall 2021, according to the college’s athletics director.
Director Duane Herr attributed the delay to budgetary limitations.
“We did advocate for an esports program at the athletics level for next year,” Herr said. “We just haven’t been able to pull the funds for it and we want to do it the right way.”
Adding esports to his department would require funding for team equipment, including computers, headphones, furniture and apparel. In addition, Herr said he would hire a coach.
Conway Johnson, secretary of the student ESports Club, said he is disappointed that esports won’t join Athletics sooner.
“It’s difficult getting an organization together as a college club because there is a lot of work being put into it,” Johnson said. “A lot of us are doing this on our free time.”
Third-year graphic design student and ESports Club member Arnaldo Baez-Pagan said the delay is “really bad for people that want to get into it. I’m already into it and attend my own tournaments, so it doesn’t affect me as much, but I can imagine for [others] that it might be a little annoying.”
First-year accounting student and former club member Luke Bennett said he hopes to see an official team in the future.
“The leader of the group puts a lot of work into the club and it’s too bad we have budget issues,” Bennett said. “I think we have a lot of good players who are willing and ready to play for the esports team.”