Game On: St. Louis CITY SC and University of Missouri–St. Louis to Partner on Esports and Professional Development Education Initiatives


UMSL to serve as Presenting Partner of St. Louis CITY SC’s club esports program; Organizations introduce the St. Louis CITY SC/UMSL Sport Management Program

St. Louis CITY SC and the University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) are entering a dynamic new partnership to grow the next generation of esports players and fans, and unite the two STLMade brands in programming designed to foster professional development by expanding UMSL’s sports management offering.

Capitalizing on the global popularity of esports and the success of eMLS, Major League Soccer’s esports competition, UMSL is Presenting Partner of St. Louis CITY SC’s esports program. The university’s familiar branding will be featured on CITY SC’s eMLS kit and throughout CITY SC’s esports lounge, which will be located at the club’s Downtown St. Louis headquarters in CITYPARK’s stadium district. UMSL and CITY SC also will coordinate events between UMSL esports students and the club’s eMLS player, Niklas Raseck. The partnership comes ahead of CITY SC’s inaugural season, which kicks off on Feb. 25, and UMSL’s first-ever competitive esports team which will debut in fall 2023. 

The two organizations also are introducing the St. Louis CITY SC/UMSL Sport Management Program, which expands upon UMSL’s current curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and fosters the next generation of sporting professionals, from athletic directors and coaches to facility managers. The program includes opportunities for students to engage with CITY SC executives through on-campus classroom visits and speaking engagements. Additionally, UMSL students across all majors will have the opportunity to intern with St. Louis CITY SC and to gain service hours.

“St. Louis CITY SC and UMSL share a deep commitment to the St. Louis community in building regional pride and investing in and engaging with the next generation of leaders,” said Dennis Moore, St. Louis CITY SC’s Chief Revenue Officer. “It is our collective goal to bring new opportunities to students throughout the region, and we are excited to work alongside UMSL to achieve this.”

“This is an exciting and unique partnership that focuses on building direct connections between the University of Missouri–St. Louis and St. Louis CITY SC,” said UMSL Chancellor Kristin Sobolik.  “Our partnership includes academic integration to provide students with internships, gameday opportunities, in-class engagements with club personnel and players, and more – all to build a direct and diverse pipeline for the region’s workforce. Moreso, we are aligning our esports efforts to provide students with opportunities to engage on the national and international stage, and we look forward to seeing St. Louis CITY SC with a consistent presence on campus.”

UMSL is designated as the club’s Official Higher Education Partner and Official University Partner. The university will be the presenting partner of a 2023 home game, in which attendees will receive a giveaway item.

St. Louis CITY SC eMLS Player Niklas Raseck

Launched in January 2018, eMLS is Major League Soccer’s competitive EA SPORTS FIFA League, in which professional EA SPORTS FIFA players compete in the video game series. St. Louis CITY SC recently signed German FIFA champion Niklas Raseck as its second-ever eMLS player ahead of the 2023 season. Raseck is the first European FIFA player signed to an MLS club.

Raseck, known also as NRaseck7 and NR7, is one of the most consistent FIFA players in the world. He reached the semi-finals of the German Championships at age 14, going on to win the VBL Championship and qualify for the finals or semifinals an additional three times in his career. In 2019 Raseck won the FUT 20 Champions Cup and is a three-time qualifier for the FIFA eWorld Cup and most recently represented Guild eSports in the FIFA Global Series and Team Cups in 2022.

The 2023 eMLS season begins with League Series 1, Jan. 24-29. It continues with League Series 2, Feb. 7-12, and concludes with the eMLS Cup, March 11-12 at South by Southwest in Austin.

University of Missouri–St. Louis Esports

The University of Missouri–St. Louis is set to launch its first competitive esports team in fall 2023. The UMSL Esports Program is an extracurricular student experience tailored to students and prospective students who are talented esports players and is designed to engage students who have an interest in innovation and technology. Initial plans call for an advanced gaming arena that will serve more than 25 players in year one; providing a vibrant engagement opportunity for students in academic programs such as computer science, engineering, information systems, art and graphic design, and business-related programs.

UMSL will serve as the Presenting Partner of the St. Louis CITY SC Esports Program which includes esports and gaming integration through dedicated events on and off campus, content and externship opportunities for UMSL students.

About the University of Missouri–St. Louis

The University of Missouri–St. Louis (UMSL) is the largest public research university in eastern Missouri, and the third largest in the state, priding itself on creating greater access to higher education and opportunity for more than 15,000 diverse students. UMSL confers approximately 3,000 degrees annually and offers a wide range of baccalaureate and master’s degrees, two education specialist degrees and 17 doctoral degrees, including the only professional doctor of optometry program in Missouri. Established in 1963 as the fourth campus of the University of Missouri System, UMSL boasts more than 110,000 alumni, 75 percent of whom live and work in the St. Louis region.