Sandburg Getting Ahead of the Game With Esports Team

  Aaron Frey
  Friday, March 27, 2020 5:06 PM
  Athletics, Campus News

Galesburg, IL

Carl Sandburg College this year became the first Illinois community college to field an intercollegiate team in the booming world of esports. The team has talent scholarships available to students, and an “arena” with 12 gaming computers was created on campus for the team to practice and compete in. We sat down with Julian Harris, one of the team’s captains, to learn more about esports, what people may not realize about it and what the future of esports might look like.

SANDBURG: For people who don’t know, what is esports?

HARRIS: Esports is competitive video gaming. You have a team and you play competitively just like any other sport. It’s starting to become really big right now. It’s made more money than the Stanley Cup, NBA Finals and Super Bowl combined. A lot of popular games right now would be “Counter-Strike,” “Call of Duty,” “Overwatch” and “League of Legends.”

SANDBURG: What are some misconceptions people might have about esports?

HARRIS: Some people think we might be lazy, smelly, large, don’t have any ambition and all we do is lock ourselves in a room and play games. But we do have drive and goals and ambitions. The way we look at the video gaming isn’t how people perceive it. We can see a future with it, and it’s something we love and like to work as a team. I think that’s a wall that, as esports starts getting bigger and more organized, people will start to see.

SANDBURG: What would you say to people who may not consider esports a sport?

HARRIS: That the world changes, and it’s OK to change with it. Before you have an opinion of something, you should try to learn about. If you are a person who’s played a video game, you can understand and appreciate how hard it really is. I would challenge people who might have preconceived notions to try to understand it as a sport, because it’s very intricate and it’s a growing industry.

SANDBURG: Why do you think it’s important for Sandburg or other schools to have esports teams?

HARRIS: I think it’s the future. Whether people like it or not, people my age enjoy gaming, and esports might turn into virtual reality or augmented reality where you have sensors and it might become more physical. I also think it gives a chance for people who want to compete but don’t have the physical strength. I see a lot of kids who you can tell have never played a sport, or they did but they never played. It gives “nerds” a chance to actually be a part of something and compete and get that sense of spirit. I think that it’s really good for colleges to do that, because some of these athletes can grow up to be event coordinators, team owners, pro players, and it just gives someone an outlet to do so.

Follow Sandburg esports on Twitch, Twitter and Facebook @SandburgEsports

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Aaron Frey