Students at prestigious Princeton University have founded an intercollegiate – and international – sports league based around seminal RTS StarCraft.
Now, videogames and college go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly or anime conventions and body odor – whether you’re talking Halo, Guitar Hero, Street Fighter, or countless other titles. After all, you’ve got a bunch of young people living together in close proximity with tons of spare time on their hands … what better recipe for a few rounds of DotA?
So when Princeton freshman Mona Zhang brought up the idea of creating a formal intercollegiate competitive StarCraft league, the only question was really a matter of “Why hasn’t anyone done this before?” Despite reportedly being laughed at at first, though, Zhang found support for her idea amongst (unsurprisingly) engineering students.
After an exhibition match between Princeton and the eggheads at M.I.T., people started to get into the idea, says Zhang. More and more colleges signed onto the league – perhaps relieved to find a competitive intercollegiate organization that doesn’t require funding to travel – and currently, Zhang’s Intercollegiate Star League boasts 27 member schools including Harvard, Yale, M.I.T., Ohio State, Texas, Cal-Berkeley, Johns Hopkins and Oberlin.
It isn’t just here in the States, either – members of the Intercollegiate Star League have been going head-to-head in exhibition matches with foreign schools like China’s Tsinghua University in Beijing. I guess that StarCraft-as-spectator-sport (complete with running commentary) isn’t just for those wacky Koreans anymore, eh?