KILGORE, Texas (KLTV) - Kilgore College unveiled its Esports ‘gym’ Monday afternoon. The state-of-the-art facility in the Devall Student Center is designed to give future gamers a place to practice and train.
KC Esports Coach Andy Taylor said the process of getting gaming started at KC was a lot of work, but worth it.
“Not everybody is convinced that video games can be a positive thing because a lot of parents end up fighting with their kids about much they play video games," Taylor said. “Having this program and having this kind of at the forefront and showing the tie with the education here is just a natural marriage for the two things –information technology and esports.
The facility features the best-available gaming computer stations, powered by Dell, with 27-inch monitors and RTX 2080 TI graphics cards.
KC Esports players compete in Overwatch, League of Legends, Rocket League, Call of Duty and Hearthstone. There are 64 students involved in KC’s gaming program. Twenty-six of them are on the team, which competes against other colleges and universities at gaming tournaments across the state.
Those competing on varsity teams must meet academic requirements and be enrolled full time.
“I’ve been surprised at how rapidly we’ve grown. The popularity of video games? Not very surprised by that," Taylor said. “I’m really impressed by the diversity of individuals we have involved in the group. We have students that are in every major, every field. Not all are computer information technology students. Some of them are diesel mechanics. Some of them are nurses. Some of them are in for law.”
KC also signed five players to its esports team on Monday. There who signed letters of intent are:
- KC Call of Duty team: Blade Williams, of Kilgore, and Santiago Tiapia, of Longview.
- KC Overwatch team: Anthony Tippitt, of Overton, and Chris Williams, of Kilgore.
- League of Legends team: Peter Hung, of Vietnam.
College Esports programs are governed by the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Currently, 175 colleges and universities offer officially recognized varsity esports programs and are members of NACE.
On April 18, KC and the Longview Mall will host the first gaming tournament held at the mall. The Longview Legends Cup it will be a 64-player tournament with winners receiving scholarships to KC and other prizes.
KC also offers courses for students interested in pursuing a career as a video game developer. Click here to learn more about KC’s Esports program.