KSU Joins Peach Belt Conference for Esports
KENNESAW, Ga. (Jul 9, 2020) — Kennesaw State University has joined the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) as an associate member for Esports beginning with the 2020-21 season.
The Owls will become the seventh associate member of the Peach Belt, which now includes 17 Esports teams for the upcoming year. Kennesaw State is the first NCAA Division I institution to join PBC Esports as an associate and now gives the league members at the Division I, II and III levels. KSU was previously a full member of the Peach Belt from 1994 to 2005 before moving to the Division I ranks, winning four national championships as a part of the Georgia-based Division II conference.
“This is an exciting time for Kennesaw State to join the world of Esports and bring an emerging sport to our campus,” said Director of Athletics Milton Overton. “Esports is a great opportunity for our university to attract new students as we can continue to search for innovative ways to grow the footprint of our institution.”
The PBC was the first NCAA conference to hold an Esports championship starting with the 2017-18 academic year. The league was also the first to partner with Riot Games, publisher of League of Legends, the most-played online game in the world, and the first to hold an in-person live conference championship. The PBC will enter year four of League of Legends in 2020-21 and is in talks to expand to other titles. KSU joins Alma College, Coker University, Florida Southern College, Hawaii-Pacific University, Henderson State University and the University of Montevallo as associate members.
KSU has a rich history of Esports on campus, holding events in conjunction with its robust Esports student organization, and has a thriving student-driven gaming culture; the 2020-21 season will be the University’s first in this new level of intercollegiate competition. In March, Kennesaw State’s Division of Student Affairs and the Kennesaw Esports student organization launched a competitive esports series in an effort to provide an innovative social outlet for KSU students who were participating in remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester. Titled “Game On, KSU,” the series featured three video game competitions that were played entirely online.
“We are very happy to welcome Kennesaw State as an Esports associate member,” said David Brunk, commissioner of the Peach Belt Conference. “I’d like to thank the president, Dr. Pamela Whitten, for her vision in establishing an Esports program at Kennesaw State and understanding the value that being a part of the Peach Belt Conference will bring. The addition of Kennesaw State to the Peach Belt further underscores the unique culture of Esports competition that we are cultivating, and we can’t wait to welcome the Owls this season.”
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.