Esports at South Dakota Mines

South Dakota Mines has the largest Esports community in South Dakota and one of the largest in the Midwest. We focus on both competitive and casual gaming with opportunities to join teams that compete in collegiate tournaments or take part in Local Area Network (LAN) events that bring all varieties of gamers together.

Esports Certificate Program

Get a deeper knowledge of the highly competitive world of professional gaming. Our Esports certificate is 12 credit hours focused on computer programming, art and graphics, human factors, and skills in leadership and teaming. Students also develop professional attributes that will be used in their careers, such as emotional intelligence, teaming, and communication. This certificate is intended to align with a student’s degree program and extra-curricular activities in order to cultivate professional attributes through the study and practice of Esports. See the academic catalog for course details, Loading....

Certificate Information Sheet | Certificate Credits Worksheet


  • Team building
  • Strong social network
  • Improve communication skills
  • Leadership development  

Esports Scholarships

Students selected to play on the varsity Esports team may earn a scholarship. For more information, contact our Hardrocker Athletics Esports Coordinator, Mike Vander Heyden.

Currently Hardrocker Esports compete in the following games: 

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Dota 2

Varsity Esports

South Dakota Mines established the first Esports scholarships in South Dakota. Being a part of a varsity team means that players are held to same expectations as all other athletes in Hardrocker Athletics

Club Esports

Esports at South Dakota Mines started at the club level in the Fall of 2013. Since the establishment of the club, its grown to support over 100 student Esports players, across 18 separate teams and 12 game titles. Teams are established based on interest for the particular title and how many students show up for the associated tryout. At the club level, we do our best to not make cuts, tryouts just function as a way for the club to gauge skill and place players on the appropriate team. Find a complete list of the game titles we compete under here:    

  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Fortnite
  • Valorant 
  • Dota 2
  • CS:GO
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Hearthstone
  • Smite
  • Apex Legends
  • Super Smash Brothers

This list will slightly alter from year to year, based on the current interest for a particular game title.


A number of gaming events take place on campus throughout the year. “Just Games” is a weekly event on Friday’s where gamers come out for an evening of playing games of their choice.  Bigger events include Extra-Life, a 24-hour LAN for charity and LAN Mines, a tournament event and game zone where gamers bring their own computers.  

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