Due to the unprecedented events unfolding globally due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, tryout dates for Redbird Esports have been altered. See dates below.

The Redbird Esports program at Illinois State University announced tryout applications for three varsity game titles launching this fall. Redbird Esports will be providing competitive scholarship opportunities for varsity players and support staff for League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League, with more varsity game support following soon after.

Tryouts will place online starting on the following days:
Overwatch: April 4, 2020
Rocket League
: April 7, 2020
League of Legends: April 10, 2020

NOTE: Those interested in competing for a spot to represent Illinois State University this fall in varsity competitions as a scholarship player or coach, please join our separate tryouts discord as soon as possible.

Tryouts are open for any prospective students, transfer students, and current Illinois State students. All varsity offers are contingent on applying and being accepted to Illinois State University. Details on tryouts and sign up information can be found here.

man at gaming computer

Esports Program Director David Kirk

League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League are staples in the current collegiate esports ecosystem,” said Redbird Esports Director David Kirk, who has helped lead national champion Rocket League and Rainbow Six Siege teams, and co-founded National Collegiate Esports. “We have hundreds of current and prospective students expressing interest in these titles, so I anticipate being able to field some highly competitive players to represent the university this fall.” Kirk said the titles were chosen based on student interest, developer support, and university engagement.

In addition to seeking varsity players, Illinois State will also be providing scholarships to students interested in gaining coaching experience. “There is a tremendous need for competent and qualified coaches for esports right now,” said Kirk, who noted a lack of current avenues for those interested in coaching. “Illinois State University plans to lead the charge by being one of the first universities to provide an opportunity for students to develop those skills with the support of both the university and an industry professional, while receiving their education at the same time.”

Redbird Esports is the first varsity esports program at an Illinois public university. “ISU is going all in on the esports program,” said Kirk. He added that not only is the University providing scholarships, it is building an infrastructure for success. “The administration here has had the foresight to see the value of creating and developing a community of gamers that starts with casual players and progresses all the way to the highest tier of competitor.” Many game specific clubs are already established at Illinois State with several teams already competing, and more coming soon.

Find out more about Redbird Esports.