Buzz around esports squad at Robert Morris University brings energy drink deal |
Robert Morris

Buzz around esports squad at Robert Morris University brings energy drink deal

Deb Erdley
Could esports soon fill up the Robert Morris University UPMC Events Center?

College-level esports finally may be getting a little respect.

They haven’t signed any deals to replace college football on Saturday afternoon TV.

And it’s not exactly Gatorade, but the Robert Morris University esports team has a new corporate partnership deal with Mountain Dew AMP Game Fuel, an energy drink especially for videogamers.

It makes sense. After all, the specter of avid gamers drifting off to sleep after hours at the keyboard is just too sad to contemplate.

The new agreement comes on the heels of the team’s journey to the final four of a national video game tournament, an RMU spokesman said. The team, boasting nearly 50 members who compete in eight videogames, had a strong showing in its first year as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Esports.

Next fall, RMU will begin offering esports scholarships.

Can million-dollar coaching contracts, packed arenas and victory celebrations with players drenched in sugary energy drinks be far behind?

This month, RMU made it to the semifinal round of the National Association of Collegiate Esports fall championship tournament in Rocket League. The three-person RMU team fell one game short of the NACE Rocket League finals in Atlanta, losing to the University of Missouri, which went on to win the title. RMU defeated the University of Texas at Dallas, Northwood University, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Arcadia University in the tournament.

“It’s one of the most popular competitive activities for high school and college age students now, and it has all the same components of any other sport has,” said Armand Buzzelli, director of campus recreation st RMU. Preparation, practice, strategy, leadership, communication, teamwork – all those same things apply with esports,” he said.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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