Columbia College leads collegiate E-Sports movement
COLUMBIA — Columbia College is at the center of the E-Sports gaming world this weekend with hundreds of collegiate athletes traveling to Columbia.
The sounds of fans cheering and gasping echoed through the rafters of Columbia College's Southwell complex Friday, not for basketball, but E-Sports gaming.
The Midwest Campus Clash has taken over Columbia College as hundreds pour into the city to showcase their gaming skills in a sport that's gaining traction on campuses across the country.
Collegiate varsity gaming teams from the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, and Kansas traveled in to compete for a total pot of 35,000 dollars in scholarship money for their schools.
Jake Boeding, an avid E-Sports and League of Legends fan, said E-Sports’ popularity is on the rise.
“People will say e-sports athlete and they’ll often roll their eyes and just say they’re just playing video games that’s not an athlete, but they’re looking at just the physical aspect only,” Boeding said. “Whenever you look at an e-sports athlete it might not be these macho dudes or things like that. But the mental strain, the mental game they have to play with themselves, I always make the argument that the mental strain that they go through in a professional game is greater than almost any other sport there is.”
Columbia College is one of a handful of schools to give out E-Sports scholarships with top professional gamers earning as much as 3 million dollars a year.
School President Scott Dalrymple is also a strong advocate of expanding the gaming world.
“We want to provide the ultimate gaming showcase in the Midwest and beyond for everyone who attends the event,” Dalrymple said. “The Midwest Campus Clash is designed to not only focus on E-Sports but also provide a look at some of the cutting-edge gaming technology that is coming in the future. E-Sports aren’t the future, they’re the present.”
Boeding adds that the E-Sports provide an escape for gamers.
"Some of these kids might have been bullied or have to go through a lot of mental strain and they might struggle with a lot of like personal issues, but this game and being paid to be a competitive player, allows them to basically have an avenue to be able to be themselves. To enjoy who they are and be celebrated for who they are," Boeding said.
It may not be the most popular sport in the United States right now, but there is still an avid fan base across the country.
“Why do people go crazy for basketball? It’s because they’re watching something that they enjoy, they have an interest in seeing one team prevail over the other,” Boeding said. “They’re simply watching it because they have a love for the game or a love for the team, and they just want to see them win. That’s no different than any other sport.”
Boeding says a professional gamer can play up to 12 hours a day, with more than 50 variables to think about each minute, and that with more advertising, sponsors and funding coming in, the sport is on a rise that many won’t see coming.
"It gives us nerds an opportunity to really be who we are," Boeding said. "Even though you may discount this at first, this is going to be something big, this is going to be something that honestly will stay around for a while."
The gaming expo is open to the public with the championship match set for Saturday night.
AUXVASSE - Linnenbringer Farms is a third-generation farm selling beef, chicken and eggs in mid-Missouri. Luke Linnenbringer chose to follow... More >>
COLUMBIA – Federal health officials announced Tuesday they will be cracking down on the nationwide sale of Juul e-cigarettes to... More >>
COLUMBIA - The People for Ethical treatment of Animals, PETA, protested Tuesday against animal research on MU's campus. Organizer... More >>
MISSOURI - A new report from the Violence Policy Center, a non-profit group advocating for gun control, shows that Missouri... More >>
ASHLAND - As prom season begins, Rock Bridge High School said it will be breathalyzing its students upon entry to... More >>
ST. LOUIS — The legal battle between lawyers from Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and St. Louis prosecutors is escalating, with... More >>
COLUMBIA - Boone County deputies arrested a man on Monday after he allegedly tried to meet up with who he... More >>
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is celebrating its 75th anniversary, but its leadership isn't content with where the... More >>
COLUMBIA - On Monday, more than 100 volunteers began the week-long effort to deliver more than 5,700 meals to raise... More >>
COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council met Monday night in a work session to discuss ways to improve Columbia's water... More >>
COLUMBIA – Hundreds gathered at the first ever Japanese Spring Festival on MU’s campus Monday afternoon. Student Momoko Tamamura came... More >>
JEFFERSON CITY – One local woman is reflecting on her decision to vote for President Donald Trump after some have... More >>
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The law firm representing the ex-husband of the woman who had an affair with Missouri... More >>
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic Missouri state lawmaker says he won't step down despite facing backlash for repeatedly calling... More >>
COLUMBIA - MU staff members spent Monday afternoon discussing how the university could become Columbia's "employer of choice" again with... More >>
COLUMBIA - Residents moving into the Lynn Street Cottages in Columbia not only obtain four new walls, they also receive... More >>
COLUMBIA - Students at Rock Bridge High School will be attending prom this weekend, and for the first time ever,... More >>