Brad Tregnago of KSSZ contributed to this story
Columbia College is hosting an eSports tournament today. Columbia College eSports director Bryan Curtis says it is hosting its first Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo.
According to the digital games market research firm Newzoo, eSports are projected to exceed $1 billion in profits by 2019 with a global audience likely to grow to 385 million this year.
Curtis says the school’s president offered to play the winner of a student video game tournament, and when the two played, the student handily beat the president.
“He absolutely destroyed him. It wasn’t even close,” says Curtis. “He ended up buying textbooks for that student for a year and we just had a really fun time. There was a lot of energy in the room. A lot of people were talking about it and so we really talked about ways to capitalize off of that energy.”
This weekend’s main event will be the League of Legends tournament, featuring eight of the Midwest’s best collegiate eSports teams competing for a $15,000 top prize for their school. The second-place team will receive $5,000 and third- and fourth-place teams each will earn $2,500 for their schools.
It will also include the finals of the Collegiate Star League’s Madden NFL Championship Series and a giant pong game.
The tournament is from 10 a.m. to around 9 p.m. today in Southwell Gymnasium.