MADISON, S.D. (KELO) —Video games are just a pastime for some people. For others, they’re competitive and have evolved into esports.

Now Dakota State University is taking their esports program up a level.

In 2019, DSU added a competitive esports program, where students are able to compete on a varsity level. With its growing popularity, DSU is now adding an esports coaching certificate to its graduate program.

“We’re building out a curriculum to help supplement a lot of the work that needs to get done. Essentially, in my eyes, it’s giving credit to the students for doing what they want to do and getting the experience they need to break into this industry,” Esports Coach Andy Roland said.

The certificate course will consist of 3 different classes.

“Esports Foundations and Systems, so that’s the one that’s really the basis of learning the history and things about specific games. There is Fan Experience and ‘Sportainment,’ which is kind of a sports management class, and then there’s Facility Risk and Event Management,” Associate Professor of Education and Exercise Science Scott Klungseth said.

As esports become more common on campuses, the need for coaches will only grow.

“Really helping kids with advice on specific games and strategies of specific games, just like trying to start your starting line-up in any other sport, you have to decide which athletes make the varsity,” Klungseth said.

Esports are also expected to expand at the high school level.

“A part of this program is designed to help current teachers get that esports background to potentially be their esports coach in their high school,” Klungseth said.

While this is only an option for the graduate program, they hope to offer undergraduate courses in the future.