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Esports is growing and some players at Indiana Tech treat it like any physical sport

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - The coronavirus crisis has really done a number on the world of sports. That may be a big reason why "Esports" seems so popular right now. 

Indiana Tech's Esports committee has been around since 2016 with players battling it out, playing the games “League of Legends” and “Overwatch”. 

Players tell ABC21, they treat video games just like any other physical sport. They practice every day, they take it seriously, they want to win but most importantly? They want to have fun. 

Teams usually travel to other schools for video game tournaments but because of the pandemic, they now stay put. 

Indiana Tech's head coach said the situation has its pros and cons. 

 "We're definitely winning more.” Jordan Cunningham said. “When we were allowed, we were traveling more and we were able to give more of these students an opportunity to succeed … hoping for the best." 

The “Arena” is where players practice and compete in their games and Cunningham believes that's where the team chemistry is growing. 

“The amount of times I've been asked 'hey coach can we do something together like some team bonding' is crazy.” Cunningham said. “That's all they want to do because they're vibing with each other and they're playing random games with each other." 

The group or committee practices every Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and then competes those same nights at 8 p.m. with other schools. 

To determine a winner? It's a best of five series. 

Cunningham also states when putting a lineup together, he studies his players' ranks and total points to see who's improving. 

"You'll watch a 30-minute game for two hours just to see how everyone is performing.” He said. “You'll slow things down and you have to look at each individual." 

Some players earn scholarships like freshman Christian Goins, who plays Overwatch, he said Esports has helped him make friends. 

“There was already a club here.” he said. “I can hang out with these guys. I can play video games with them. It's super relaxing." 

Team captain for League of Legends, Brett Cook said it's sometimes difficult explaining why he's going to school to play video games, but it makes him happy. 

“I never thought it would be benefiting me in my collegiate career.” Cook said. “And it is. So, it's just staying excited about that and recognizing what's happening and staying motivated." 

Vince Lovergine

Vince Lovergine joined the WPTA team August 2020 as a multimedia journalist.

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