SAN ANTONIO – A student organization at the University of Texas at San Antonio is giving students the opportunity to express their passion for video games, plus offer a place where competitive gaming enthusiasts can gather. It’s for students who are into electronic sports also known as eSports.
“The main goal of the club is to become an environment for people to come and just hang out, make friends, play video games together,” Leonardo Soriano, vice president of Roadrunner Gaming, said.
Some students play for fun, other players compete in national collegiate eSports tournaments.
“ESports is basically competitive video games. We compete against other colleges,” Soriano said. “For my League Legends team, we have them play on their computers, we scrim against other schools and then play official matches.”
The group's vice president got a chance to listen to leaders in college athletics talk about the future of the sport.
“We attended the big 12 conference last year and they were talking about the possibility of eSports being a collegiate, NCAA program. We are hoping they make the decision that it is and eSports will explode,” Soriano said.
According to a study by the entertainment software association, a US trade association, 2018 was a record-breaking year, with video games sales exceeding $43.4 billion.
According to research from Newzoo, the year 2019 marks a major milestone for the global eSports market, which will for the first time exceed the billion-dollar revenue mark.
Also with the recent announcement of Port San Antonio’s Innovation Center, which will include a space for eSports events once completed, students are excited about the local possibilities.
"I think it would be a great opportunity because San Antonio has been lacking in eSports in general. More opportunities of places that can hold eSports events and help foster that community will make it better,” Soriano said.
“I think eSports is starting to overshadow real world sports just with how much money its being put into it,” Keith Lebeau, member of Roadrunner Gaming, said.
Freshmen Keith Lebeau is a member of the club and has always had a passion for it.
“Me and my father are huge video game players and computer guys, so it’s just something that innately came. So I just found the club as soon as came to the school,” Lebeau said.
Every week, Lebeau plays video games for 20 hours or more.
“There’s a lot of people that are alienated in society and stuff, so it’s a lot better now, but we bring people together,” Lebeau said.
More than 400 students are part of the club, which started in 2011.