UPIKE E-Sports: Providing a next step for gamers

Published: May. 10, 2019 at 6:38 PM EDT
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The KHSAA continues to gain support in just the second season of E-Sports.

"All of us gamers you know we all started fangirling about it and we just got so excited about it," said Jarrett White.

"I loved it. I'm so we got this opportunity because I think this should be more recognized around the world and it would just be great if every school could have one," Rylan Eddington.

As more schools in the state of Kentucky start teams, the University of Pikeville, benefits.

"As E-Sports is legitimized at the high school level, it makes the pool of applicants that much larger," said coach JT Carman.

UPIKE was the second school in the nation to offer scholarships for E-Sports.

"The University of Pikeville was the second college in the entire nation to get this scholarship program rolling. I was lucky and privileged enough to be noticed when I was a Senior in high school," said Nick Collum from Betsy Layne.

Not only do the Bears have more options in players, but gamers now have more skill when entering the collegiate than when the program started.

"Just playing on my XBOX casually at home and stuff like. You know playing with friends, playing online sometimes, not really much of a competitive player at that time," says Jeremy Stacy.

Just like other sports, E-Sports offers more than just being a professional athlete. The sport teaches skills beneficial to everyday life and any career field, plus offers other positions.

"(Athletes can stay in the sport by) officiating events, running events. Being an event planner something along those lines. We also have gaming journalism just reporting," said Carman.

While many don't know what the future holds for E-Sports, those around it know it's not going away anytime soon.

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