Home Carrollton Peach Belt welcomes University of West Georgia as associate member for Esports

Peach Belt welcomes University of West Georgia as associate member for Esports

The Peach Belt Conference and commissioner David Brunk are pleased to announce the University of West Georgia will join the league as an associate member in Esports, beginning spring 2022. The Wolves will compete with the PBC in League of Legends, published by Riot Games.

“We are very happy to welcome UWG to the Peach Belt for Esports,” said commissioner Brunk. “Special thanks to the president, Dr. Brendan Kelly, and senior vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Jon Preston, for entrusting us as the home for their Esports programs. Given the close proximity of UWG to a large number of our member institutions, we are very familiar with the excellence that they bring to all of their endeavors and they will be a tremendous fit for our Esports programs.”

UWG has developed a thriving on-campus Esports community and will enter the competitive varsity ranks for the first time this year. In addition to building the team, UWG is also constructing competitive practice and playing areas on campus, including arena-style competitive venues.

“As we dedicate ourselves to the curation of a first-choice university for all our stakeholders, we are thrilled to join the Peach Belt Conference as an associate member in Esports,” said Dr. Brendan Kelly, president of UWG. “Being part of the growing industry that surrounds gaming and Esports will help us achieve our goals of being competitive in attracting students to our institution and providing a relevant education that will connect them to a career after they graduate.”

Preston added that Esports provides UWG an interdisciplinary opportunity for students to “come together from various areas of expertise.”

“Beyond competitive and recreational play, Esports allows students to enjoy and apply their academic areas of focus,” Preston said. “It combines computing, sport management, communications, psychology and so many areas that are vital academic programs at UWG. We’re thrilled to expand Esports and provide more opportunities for students to thrive and be part of this growing aspect of the UWG community.”

The Peach Belt Conference became the first NCAA conference at any level to offer an Esports championship alongside their traditional sports offerings. The league was also the first to become a partner conference with Riot Games and held the first in-person League of Legends championship in 2018. The PBC will begin its fourth season of League of Legends in late January or early February with a return to the in-person championship scheduled for late March 2022.

The PBC added a second title, Overwatch, to its Esports offerings in 2020 and is currently conducting its second season of competition with an in-person live championship scheduled for Oct. 29-30 at the Florence Center in Florence, South Carolina.

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Sam Gentry is a lifelong resident of Carroll County, Georgia. In August of 2007, while enrolled at the University of West Georgia, Sam worked at University Communications and Marketing for two semesters as a student assistant. He began writing for a local newspaper that same year. After graduating from UWG in 2010, Sam continued working for the same paper, where he made his way through the ranks, eventually becoming General Manager in 2017. Sam joined the UCM team again in January of 2020 where he serves as Manager of Media Relations. Besides being a liaison to media outlets, Sam’s writing efforts are focused on the Richards College of Business. In his free time, Sam enjoys writing songs, woodworking, and traveling with his wife, Becky, and four children: Samantha, Will, Audrey, and Gracie.