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eSports Play Grows Innovation at SLU


As eSports gains visibility across the country, Saint Louis University is hosting major tournaments and its students are developing businesses aimed at putting them in the forefront of online, multi-player gaming.

Students Talk Innovation and eSports at SLU 

SLU’s Chaifetz Arena recently hosted Riot Games’ League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) on Saturday, April 13. The tournament for professional gamers returned to the Midwest for the first time since 2016, and Riot Games officials praised the welcome they received from the St. Louis and SLU communities.

The tournament sold out shortly after its Chaifetz stop was announced, and the teams competing in the LCS championships matched wits and cycled through levels before a packed house.

eSports player detail
SLU students can connect and compete through the University's eSports Club. 

Student Brandon Smith co-founded Mission Control, an esports business that creates video leagues. And SLU’s esports club has been growing, its president, Nick Chiu said, adding that esports have achieved the ubiquity and prestige of other competitive, more traditional sports.

As part of SLU’s Operational Excellence program, the University hosted an eSports Forum on Wednesday, April 24, at the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business. The forum featured SLU’s eSports student group as well as Dan Clerke, director of eSports at Maryville University, which has become a national leader in the field.

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.

Video by Stephanie Mueller, University Marketing and Communications. Photos by Garrett Canducci.