Cleveland State University to Join NECC Beginning in the Fall of 2022

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Cleveland State has joined the National Esports Collegiate Conference (NECC) and will compete in the league during the 2022-23 academic year.

The NECC began play in Fall 2020 with 36 schools participating. That number has jumped to over 200 college and universities for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Institutions that compete in the conference include the University of Alabama, Bowling Green, the University of Kansas, Kent State, Michigan State, Temple, and West Virginia University.

"We are thrilled to welcome Cleveland State University to the NECC," commissioner Jacob VanRyn said. "From our conversations with their leadership and seeing the commitment the university has for the program, we are confident they will be successful right away. We look forward to welcoming their community and watching them compete beginning this fall."


The Cleveland State University athletics department has launched the city of Cleveland's first varsity intercollegiate Esports program, made official by CSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Garrett recently.

The brand-new Viking program will compete as a varsity sport under the umbrella of the athletics department, beginning play during the upcoming 2022-23 academic year.  

"As stated in CSU 2.0, our university-wide innovative growth strategy, Viking Athletics continues to look towards implementing initiatives that help grow enrollment, generate school spirit and differentiate CSU as a beacon institution in Northeast Ohio and beyond," shared Garrett. "We are incredibly bullish on the future of esports as a way to recruit new students to CSU and to help create positive stories to share with the community.  We look forward to supporting CSU varsity esports within the athletics department framework of services and to leaning on a number of campus partners to position it for long-term success." 

CSU will initially look to sponsor varsity squads for League of Legends, Valorant, Overwatch and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, while considering expansion into other titles in the near future. 

Initial team tryouts will be held in late July or early August.  For more information, current and prospective CSU students should e-mail

The NECC began sponsoring esports in the fall of 2020. The conference is currently sponsoring both regular season competition and championships across a wide variety of titles. The NECC aims to serve the gaming community with respect and is proud to be a safe and inclusive environment for all players. With more than 150 colleges and universities currently competing in the conference, the NECC is proud to be a positive home for the collegiate gaming community. 

Twitter | Instagram | Discord | YouTube | Website