DANVILLE, Va. – Averett University's eSports program -- also known as competitive video gaming -- is growing thanks to a big donation.
Dr. Frank Maddux, a former Averett board of trustees member, and his wife, Dr. Dugan Maddux, have donated $100,000 to the university for the program.
The money will be used to create more space for the gamers to play and for spectators to watch.
It will also be used to help hire a coach for the program.
"It absolutely puts us on the cutting edge. We're not aware of another gift in the country that's been made at this level to propel an eSports program forward," Averett University President Tiffany Franks said.
The eSports program began last fall, making Averett the first four-year university in Virginia to join the national varsity eSports league.
"Once we announced it, it became just so popular we knew we needed to bring in somebody full time that had the expertise, that could lead the program in its development," Franks said about the university's effort to hire a coach for the program.
In a news release from the university, the Madduxes said they are glad Averett has an eSports program.
"By establishing programs like Esports, Averett is meeting students where they are by investing in their interests and contributing to their holistic development and healthy application of technology," they said.
Averett's program currently has 11 teams competing in two leagues.