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Pac-12 Sanctions eSports Competitions

The presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 universities have approved of organized eSports competitions, making it the first NCAA conference to back competitive video gaming.

The conference’s universities will put together teams to compete with a specific game, with head-to-head matchups and a championship tournament being broadcast on Pac-12 Networks. Game titles and event formats are still being worked out, the Pac-12 said in a statement.

“eSports is a natural fit for many of our universities located in the technology and media hubs of the country,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. “Pac-12 Networks’ commitment to innovation as well as its natural tie to our universities and established media platform make it the perfect organization to develop the framework for eSports intercollegiate competition.”

The decision to launch an official eSports arm for Pac-12 universities came after growing noise from student groups already competing on campuses. The conference stated that eSports is already closely tied with “academic departments at Pac-12 universities such as computer science, visual and cinematic arts, engineering and others.”