Beginning fall 2018 the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology athletics department is adding a new team to the Hardrocker roster. Esports will be an official competitive sport starting with a varsity League of Legends team.
Esports, also known as electronic sports, is a multiplayer video game played competitively. The most common video game genres associated with esports are real-time strategy, head-to-head and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) formats.
Esports has millions of followers with League of Legends being one of the most popular games. Competitions are broadcast on Twitch.tv, a live streaming video platform and events like the world final match are held in arenas, drawing more viewers than the NBA, NHL and MLB championship games. Like their counterparts in traditional sports, the top professional players earn millions of dollars annually in endorsements and prize winnings.
"We are very excited about this great opportunity to start a competitive collegiate esports program at South Dakota Mines,” said Hardrocker athletics director Joel Lueken. “This will be the 14th sport added to the Mines athletics department. Our plan is to build a program that is respected and held to the same standards as any other sports program here. These are uncharted waters, but that's why it's so exciting."
Mines currently has a student-run esports club with more than 100 members. Just like regular sports, members will have to earn their spot on the varsity team and will be eligible for scholarships. Mines expects to hire a program director responsible for managing the team and planning events and tournament participation.
Mines e-athletes will play against other collegiate esports teams from around the nation in online matches. Hardrocker e-athletes compete in teams of three to five players. For the individual players, the sport fosters values of cooperation, teamwork and sportsmanship that are essential for success in any competitive event.
Banquet to celebrate Thunder's two state titles
The Rushmore Hockey Association is hosting a celebration at the Rushmore Thunderdome to recognize and honor the state champion varsity and junior varsity teams on Wednesday.
Doors will open at 5 p.m., with the event starting at 6 p.m. to recognize the players and coaches from both teams. The public is invited to attend. Concessions will be available, as well as photos with the players and the state championship trophy.
The Rushmore Thunderdome is located at 5611 Old Folsom Road in Rapid City.
Vay, Jenys called up by Iowa Wild
The Iowa Wild, AHL affiliate of the Rapid City Rush, announced Monday that goaltender Adam Vay and forward Pavel Jenys have been called up to the team.
Vay leaves the Rush having appeared in a pair of games with the Wild this season. The 6-foot, 5-inch, 227-pound net-minder saw his first career AHL games this season, going 0-1-1 with a 4.91 GAA and .868 save percentasge. With the Rush this year, Vay appeared in 31 games, and registered a 12-15-1-1 record with a 3.35 goals against average and .905 save percentage.
Jenys heads back to the Wild having played in 4 games in the AHL this season. The 6-3, 205-pound forward scored his first career AHL goal in his first game with the team this season on Jan. 17. In his AHL career, all with Iowa over the last three seasons, Jenys has appeared in 12 games with a goal and three assists for four points.
The Rush are home three games against two different Mountain Division rivals, starting with the Allen Americans on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m.