Newberry College Esports Joins New England Collegiate Conference
October 26, 2020
NEWBERRY — South Carolina can’t be much farther from New England, but that hasn’t stopped the Newberry College esports program from affiliating with the New England Collegiate Conference.
The Mansfield, Massachusetts-based conference comprises Division III schools in the northeast, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the organization to expand into the esports realm, where geography and division are of little consequence. Over the summer, the Newberry College program became one of a handful from across the country to form the conference’s esports wing in its inaugural season.
“We were looking for additional opportunities to compete, so we decided to go with the NECC,” said Terrence Knock, head coach and coordinator of esports at Newberry College. “Being part of the NECC also means our students will be able to compete with a nationwide audience, since the conference broadcasts on streaming devices and other television outlets.”
The new affiliation affords the Newberry program some well-needed breathing room for its recently expanded slate of competitive titles and a player roster whose capacity grew from 15 to 24 over the last year.
“We’re excited,” Knock said. “This is ‘year zero’ as the conference is calling it. We’re still working through some roadblocks and we have a lot of room to grow, but it’s definitely a great opportunity for us and for everyone involved. I am also confident the NECC will look out for the best interests of the students and the member institutions in the conference.
“Stay tuned, because we have a serious chance to see some playoff and some championship time,” he added.
The Newberry College esports program was established in 2019, offering four competitive gaming titles, and like traditional sports, structured practices, skill building and scholarships for players. The program is supported by the National Association of Collegiate Esports.
Image courtesy: New England Collegiate Conference.