Students organize first esports organization for PAC-12 universities
Members will begin competing this spring and intends to bring attention to collegiate esports
SALT LAKE CITY - Today, student leaders at 11 Pac-12 universities announced the formation of the Pacific Alliance of Collegiate Gamers (PACG), a unique esports organization formed and operated by students.
PACG will involve multiple semester-long leagues. Prominent esports titles, “League of Legends,” “Overwatch” and “Hearthstone” will be the first announced games to be supported by the organization. PACG includes student-driven esports organizations from: University of Arizona, Arizona State University, University of California Berkeley, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, University of Utah and Washington State University. Utah will compete in PACG as the only official varsity program.
“Student esports groups all across the country are in great need of support from universities that may not understand what they are trying to accomplish” said Jack Callahan, a University of Colorado Boulder student-leader, and PACG Co-Commissioner. “It is a great time for those schools to jump on esports, before every college has a gaming arena, or in the future, offers scholarships for esports. PACG hopes to push those organizations towards supporting their local esports clubs and maybe move towards varsity programs.”
PACG is an unofficial and unsponsored organization where players will not be playing for scholarships or prize money like other collegiate esports associations such as Tespa and AVGL. Instead, PACG aims to highlight collegiate esports amongst Pac-12 universities and encourage institutional support. Like traditional collegiate athletics, PACG will be self-governed by representatives from each school forming a competitive committee.
“The schools within the Pac-12 contains some of the finest esports organizations in the country,” said University of Utah student Sam Morris, another of PACG’s elected leaders. “This will be more than just 11 schools coming together for a tournament, this will be a proving grounds for some of the best collegiate esports teams in the country.”
PACG leaders hope that the formation of this organization will influence how collegiate esports continues to develop in the future.
“Student engagement is defined differently across the joined group of universities” said University of Arizona student and PACG Co-Commissioner Robert Johnson. “But to contribute towards the future of esports with interdisciplinary skills truly is student engagement on the collegiate level and gives me hope that PACG is the foundation for a long-lasting promise that collegiate gaming is strong, supported, academic and most importantly fun.”
PACG will begin a semester long regular season in mid-February and conclude the season with a conference championship tournament in April. The organization aims to stream every match of their spring season on Twitch, the largest esports spectator platform.