NOVA Participates in First Official “League of Legends” Video Game Match This Season

In 2018, NOVA established a competitive esports (gaming) program affiliated with the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE). NOVA joined over 80 colleges and universities in the US with their esports program, and was the first public institution in Virginia to recognize esports at the varsity level.

NOVA’s first official match, for their first esports season took place on Saturday, January 26 at 4 p.m. as the team played League of Legends against Louisiana State University Purple. The match was held at NOVA’s newly-created Esports Arena, located on the Annandale Campus (CT Building, 4th floor), which provides a place for practice and competition. The community was invited to watch the game via live stream through Twitch TV at https://www.twitch.tv/novanighthawks.

Christopher Gaul, the head coach and director of the NOVA’s esports program, held tryouts last year and selected players for varsity and junior varsity teams for two games – “League of Legends” (PC) and “Overwatch” (PC). Gaul is responsible for building the esports team, training participants and holding matches with teams in NOVA’s league.

“The esports program at NOVA offers exciting new opportunities for students to get involved in the growing esports industry,” said Chris Gaul, Director of Esports at NOVA. “Our teams are competing at some of the highest levels of play, and we are excited to start the ‘League of Legends’ season off with a challenging opponent in the LSU Purple. We look forward to seeing support for our new team via Twitch!”

Esports is NOVA’s ninth competitive Nighthawk team. Students in the esports program must meet eligibility requirements including full-time enrollment, maintain a minimum GPA and meet certain progress toward degree requirements. The team has custom Nighthawks esports merchandise and all games will be streamed live online. Team members have the opportunity to be scouted and picked up by other colleges and receive scholarships for their skills. Additional video games may be added to the esports program in the future.

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