North Dakota Varsity Esports launches Oct. 10 with exhibition match

UND will face off against U.S. Army Esports on Saturday, 11 a.m., to mark the launch of new esports venture

Photo by Mike Hess/UND Today.

North Dakota Varsity Esports, start your engines.

UND’s new competitive gaming collective will celebrate its official launch at the end of Homecoming Week – Saturday, Oct. 10 – through an inaugural matchup in Rocket League, the vehicular soccer smash-hit.

UND’s opponent? The U.S. Army’s esports squad.

All are welcome to tune in to North Dakota Varsity Esports’ YouTube page at 11 a.m., Saturday, for a livestream of the best-of-five contest.

North Dakota Varsity Esports’ Rocket League roster features students Matthew Syrstad (Senior), Casey Diers (Junior), and Patrick Lupelow (Junior), who will face Army in three-on-three, high-flying action.

Matthew King

Matt King, UND’s esports coordinator, said the U.S. Army Esports matchup should provide an exciting debut, and that he’s looking forward to facing such a strong organization.

“We started this spring with no teams and now have over 10 teams of students working together, with four of those rosters ready to compete,” said King of esports’ development at UND. “Focusing our launch around our Rocket League ties perfectly to our commitment to participate in the Electronic Gaming Federation’s (EGF) collegiate league with the same roster.”

Though Rocket League is the focal point for NDVE’s Homecoming Week launch, King said other titles will start competing in the near future through the EGF Division 1 leagues. Electronic Gaming Federation is an esports organizer that supports a wide variety of games, leagues and levels of competition.

Rosters of UND students are being finalized for titles such as Valorant, Rainbow Six: Siege and League of Legends – in addition to Rocket League – most of which will see head-to-head action at multiple levels of competition throughout the year.

“We chose to run with EGF’s collegiate league because of the level of competition and support they offer, not just for varsity but other initiatives as well,” King said. “Their product strives to model traditional sports in providing universities and their students with the help needed to strengthen esports programs.

“We are currently listed in EGF’s Western Conference for Rocket League. A lot of our opponents have strong rosters, but I believe we will have a good showing in our first season.”

For more information on future matchups and NDVE developments, follow the group’s pages on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.