Esports is a worldwide, billion-dollar wing of the entertainment industry whose popularity has expanded so quickly, sports television networks are now devoting airtime to covering the phenomenon. And Marion Technical College (MTC) is riding the ever-growing wave the sport has created. According to the program description on the Marion Technical College website, Esports is “a video game-based sport, most commonly taking the form of a collaborative, organized multiplayer competition.
Games are played upon high-powered gaming computers, with games from many genres, including real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooter (FPS), and multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA).” Some of the more popular Esports games include League of Legends®, Overwatch®, and Rocket League®. In 2018, the Overwatch® League doled out $3.5 million in prize money to its participants. To lead its Esports program, Marion Technical College has recruited a semi-professional Overwatch® player. “Last season, I placed in the top 200 in North America,” said Drew Brown, coach of the college’s Esports club. “I play this game pretty much as a part-time job. I play about six to 10 hours a day, studying, playing, looking over videos. I’ve been in this for about four years now.”
Brown, 24, studied video game and simulation design at Shawnee State University in Scioto County, where he served as the assistant Esports coach. He said he’s been a lifelong gamer, so becoming a coach was just a natural progression for him.”I grew up playing video games. My dad helped me get into it,” said Brown, a native of Marion who grew up in Marysville. “I always had a competitive side to me, whether it was in sports or otherwise, and once this started coming up and I realized I was good and it was gaining traction, I figured why not help other people achieve that competitiveness.”[…]
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