Kansas to add varsity League of Legends in 2020

Kansas announced Tuesday that the Jayhawks have added esports as a varsity sport. The program, which is supported by the KU Memorial Union, will launch with its current League of Legends roster in the spring semester. Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas Jayhawks will launch a varsity-level esports program starting in January 2020 as they become the latest Division I university to enter the space, the school announced Tuesday.

The school will lean on current members in its student organization, KU Gaming Community. Support and coaching will be provided by the Kansas University Memorial Union. Kansas will launch with a League of Legends team, according to a statement, and will join the National Association of Collegiate Esports.

Tryouts for the team will take place on Nov. 17.

"This is an exciting moment in KU history and a great opportunity to showcase a formalized esports team made up of a talented group of students," new Kansas Jayhawks esports coach Michelle Compton-Muñoz said in a statement. "The opportunity to add esports to the programs available at KU and provide the students with official training offers not only much needed support to current students but also expands opportunities for generations to come."

Kansas joins a growing list of universities to add esports in the past few years, including the likes of Ohio State, Missouri, Utah, Boise State, Akron and the University of California Irvine. UCI was among the first and has been a pioneer in the varsity esports space, which includes more than 130 colleges and universities, according to previous reporting by ESPN.