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JMU Dukes Esports

Frequently Asked Questions

Esports are organized, team-based video game competitions in a global industry valued at billions of dollars annually. They are typically viewed via common streaming services such as Twitch or YouTube or in-person live viewing events, commonly referred to as LANs. Titles that are typically most common for colleges to compete in include Rocket League, League of Legends, VALORANT, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and Rainbow Six: Siege. Many other titles also are supported in collegiate esports, but as the popularity of a game wanes or waxes, the esports ecosystem may adjust accordingly.

While many of our players have learned teamwork and communication skills from competing in traditional sports, esports bridges a gap between traditional collegiate competition and gamers. Competitive gaming is continuously expanding in the scholastic space and helps provide a home for our students who seek ways to compete under the JMU name. Our players develop game skills, teamwork, and leadership abilities, while also learning valuable skills in the technology industry for personal development. Data from esports and other sports have shown that participation in team-based competition increases student retention, teaches social skills/leadership, and supports those looking for a community to which they can belong.

Our esports teams are housed within JMU X-Labs in Lakeview Hall. The JMU Dukes Esports teams feature 11 teams across eight game titles that compete in established collegiate esports leagues such as the National Association for Collegiate Esports (NACE/NACE Starleague), the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), and most collegiate leagues that are run by the developers of the games we compete in. Through the leagues we participate in, we compete with top-tier teams and players from universities across the globe. Our teams consist of Varsity-level and Academy-level teams (Academy teams are composed of players honing their skills in the hopes of making Varsity) as well as our Production team and Marketing/Social Media team. The JMU Dukes have featured many playoff teams since the JMU Esports program launched in Spring 2022, including winning two national championships in Rainbow Six: Siege in Fall '22 and Spring '23 in the NACE Starleague.

JMU X-Labs and JMU Esports are a natural fit. JMU X-Labs courses prepare students with skills in problem solving, teamwork, adaptability, communication, stress management, and analytics. A collegiate esports program prepares students with these same cross-training skills, in addition to gaming skills. To learn more about JMU X-Labs, visit here

The Esports program is full of ways for current JMU students from every college, major, and background to become involved! Contact Director of Esports, Mikey Torres, via his Discord (@mikeytrl) or email (torre2ml@jmu.edu) to get involved in any of the following areas:

  • Tryouts for Varsity and Academy teams
  • Production/Broadcasting team
  • Marketing and Social Media Management team
  • Shoutcasting
  • Coaching
  • Recruiting

For our most current and up-to-date announcements and to find others to discuss the esports program with:

The best way to stay current on upcoming tryouts or open positions:

Feel free to consult the sources in “How do I follow JMU Esports?” question or you can reach out to our Director of Esports, Mikey Torres, via his Discord (@mikeytrl) or email (torre2ml@jmu.edu).

There is no cost to JMU students.

Yes! For some of the leagues we compete in, it is mandatory that we compete from a space within our institution. The JMU Dukes have an arena located in Lakeview Hall featuring 12 top-of-the-line PC setups in addition to a variety of peripherals (mice, keyboards, etc.) available to use.

Our esports program is home to over 70 students that either compete or participate in our other teams in production, marketing, broadcasting, etc...

Our 11 teams currently compete in the following titles:

  • Call of Duty
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive 2
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch 2
  • Rainbow Six: Siege
  • Rocket League
  • Super Smash Bros: Ultimate
  • VALORANT

Adding teams for games that are not currently being played are subject to three variables: student interest, league availability, and arena space. Student interest is the primary guide as we would have to have enough students interested in a game to form a roster. We must also consider if we have enough arena space to compete in an additional title and if the leagues we compete in offer competition in that title.

All of the students who participate in our program are subject to maintaining a minimum GPA (requirements vary among different roles) and must have enough availability during the week to practice, compete, and participate in the program. For our competitive players, they must also meet and maintain a full-time course load at JMU (12 credit hours per semester). We will check all esports applicants for their eligibility before being allowed to join.

The JMU Dukes Esports arena currently grants access only to members of the esports program.

Yes! The early success of our esports teams has demonstrated the value of the program for JMU students and we are eager to expand in multiple ways, including:

  • Development of a strategic inclusive recruiting plan
  • Development of a reservation system for the use of the arena for non-members of the esports program
  • Purchase of new equipment
  • Building additional arena stations
  • Offering professional development opportunities in esports

Our program is a member institution of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) and participates in their annual national convention/business meetings to vote on proposed legislation and network with other institutions. Our Director of Esports, Mikey Torres, is also a former employee of the Competition Operations branch of NACE. Several members of our program are also members of NACE Playoff Seeding Committees and are seeking further leadership opportunities in the collegiate esports space. JMU Esports also regularly attends in-person competitions on the national and regional levels.

Yes! There were two esports industry X-Labs courses offered in ’22-’23: Intro to Esports and Innovating Esports at JMU. They were collaboratively created and taught by faculty members whose research interests are focused on various facets of the esports industry. JMU X-Labs will continue to foster opportunities that increase learning and scholarship in esports. Stay tuned for future courses!

Yes! Our first JMU Esports summer camps launched in summer of 2023 and were designed and run by current JMU Dukes from our esports program. Summer 2024 dates and other important information will be updated and advertised by early spring semester.

Yes! Go here for the JMU Dukes Esports merchandise store. We will add more products to the store in the near future so you can show your support to our program in style!

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