Unlike traditional sports, college Esports is a bit of the wild, wild west in that its organization and oversight is fragmented and not unified. For example, it is not governed by the NCAA or a similar large governing body at the four year college level. Associations such as NACE have a growing coterie of colleges competing at the varsity level but various business entities and the game developers themselves are jostling for a slice of the oversight pie and associated control and revenues.
College programs take various forms including varsity, club and student run organizations that compete independently or under the umbrella of the particular game developer or one of a handful of the groups vying to control college Esports. There is continued growth in the number of colleges developing organized (particularly varsity level) programs though most colleges have some form of Esports presence. Teams do compete against each other no matter structure or status of team (i.e., club vs. varsity) though varsity teams are moving more towards exclusively competing gainst each other.
From a recruiting and financial standpoint, programs of all levels recruit and offer offer scholarships for certain Esports participants. In addition, college gamers are permitted to compete for prize money. Moreover, former professionals are allowed to attend college and be eligible to compete for a college program.
One of the unique aspect of Esports is the career skills development opportunities at the college level. Esports programs provide other experiences outside of gaming such as team management as well as production and broadcasting of live streamed events for involved students. A growing number of colleges are also offering an Esports academic curriculum to provide core competency to pursue an Esports career (Drexel, UC Irvine, Utah, Rowan).
Despite its early growing pains, College Esports is having a dynamic impact on the gaming community and life skills for involved students.