NORTH MANCHESTER - Manchester University may not be able to put a Division I football team on the field at the North Manchester campus, but the school does plan to be very competitive in the world of eSports. The school says it is building a varsity-level, coed team, competing in video online gaming.

The university says it has joined the National Association of Collegiate eSports and declared its intention to compete in two games starting this spring.

A billion-dollar industry, eSports has exploded in popularity at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The matches can even be found on ESPN and other digital media platforms like YouTube.

The institution says preparations are nearly complete for an eSports arena on campus with state-of-the-art equipment on order.

Organizers intend to begin play this fall. Tryouts will be held before the semester ends and start competing in the spring season which begins in February.

Team members will attend a daily practice and study table, competing in scrimmages and regular season matches several times a week. 

The university already has a non-competitive league on campus called the Manchester Gaming Society, which brings eSports players together for casual play.