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Game On: North Texas Is Becoming An Esports Hotbed, And Everyone Can Join In

Vegas Strip E sports Arena
John Locher
Teams compete against each other during the Dreamhack Masters e-sports tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in 2017.

From UTD to Dallas ISD to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, several Dallas-based institutions and businesses have invested in esports in the last few years.

In the last decade, the popularity of esports, has grown rapidly. Teams of competitive video gamers compete across the globe in front of spectators, all the while hoping to score a championship win.

Video games have always been competitive. In the '90s and early 2000s there were arcade game tournaments and gatherings, and open fighting game events, likeBattle by the Bay, largely centered on Street Fighter games.

The spirit of those competitions from a decade or more ago continues today, mostly with multiplayer games like Fortnite and Halo.

Popular games like League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. and Overwatch have a presence in the world of esports. Sports simulation games like NBA 2K and Madden NFL are also popular.

NBA2K League Playoffs
Bebeto Matthews/AP
A giant monitor shows play as Warriors Gaming Squad teammates Charles "CB13" Bostwick, center, from New York, and his teammate Alexander Reese, left, from Milwaukie, Or., react to scoring during the NBA 2k League (NBA2KL) professional esports playoffs, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Queens borough of New York. The teams kicked off day one of the NBA2KL playoffs with Blazers on the losing 67-45. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

And esports isn’t just for professional gamers. In North Texas, it’s everywhere now. Here’s a list of a few organizations who’ve gotten in on the fun in our area.

University Esports Programs

Several colleges in the region have esports teams and programs.

  • Southern Methodist University - Aside from an esports club for students, SMU’s Continuing and Professional Education program offers anesports business management certificate.
  • University Of Texas At Dallas - UT Dallas has a varsity esports program, which launched in 2018. The Comets currently have teams for Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The team has seen lots ofsuccess.  
  • University Of North Texas - Like UT Dallas,  UNT also has varsity teams in Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League.
  • Dallas College - TheDallas College campuses also have an esports league with  several teams.
  • UT Arlington - UT Arlington has a varsity level esports program. The team competes in games like Rocket League and Super Smash Bros.

Esports For Kids & Teens

Some North Texas public schools have started offering esports programs. There are also local organizations with leagues young people are eligible to play in.

  • Dallas ISD -  In 2019Dallas ISD launched an esports program offered to students at over 60 schools.
  • University Interscholastic League (UIL) - Last year, Generation Esports became the esports sponsor of the UIL. Texas high schools with varsity level esports leagues can now compete in seasonal tournaments against other students in Texas.
  • YMCA - TheYMCA of Metropolitan Dallas also has esports leagues and tournaments.

More North Texas Esports

Here are a few other esports organizations based in Dallas-Fort Worth.

  •  DreamHack -  This Swedish production company hosts esports tournaments and festivals all over the world. Our local event, DreamHack Dallas, is postponed until 2022.

Got a tip? Email Galilee Abdullah at

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Galilee Abdullah is an arts reporter.