Video games are a hobby for many, for Jakobe Hardee they are a passion.
He is a competitive gamer and he wanted to see his school give him a platform for e-Sports.
“I reached out to the Chancellor here and sent him an e-mail saying that I’d like to see it come and he responded with, ‘We’re working on it’ and I was like, ‘oh this is awesome! I want in’, said Arkansas State University student, Jakobe Hardee.
Arkansas State University announced last Tuesday that they will starting an e-sports team this Fall.
It will start off as a competitive club sport.
They are even thinking about making a varsity team for students to earn scholarships.
This announcement is huge for high school students like Jalen Maggitt.
“It makes me feel really good because I look forward to you know trying to get a scholarship for this and go to A-State and actually play on their team”, said Maggitt.
Maggitt is one of the players on Jonesboro High School’s e-Sports team.
Head coach Stuart Simpson says just like any other sport they learn valuable skills.
“We’re building the same type of team work ethic as football, soccer, basketball but it’s reaching an audience that has previously not been reached”, said Simpson.
The players practice every day and it has benefits outside of practice.
“We’re having fun but we’re having fun at school. So it’s like we have a reason even if we don’t like school we have a reason to look forward to this after school”, said eSport player Tyler Mahone.
A-state does not know which games the e-Sport team will play but they are hopeful they will be a competitive program.
“We’re in the very early stages of it but by the Fall we are going to have a really well-run oiled machine. Where we will get to challenge some other institutions and you know like I said become national powers in the e-Sports arena”, said Bryan Terry, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management.
A-state says in the first 24 hours since the announcement they had more than 200 people show interest in joining the team.
You can learn more about Arkansas State’s upcoming eSports program by e-mailing eSports@AState.edu.