Competitive online gaming coming to Fort Scott Community College

Fort Scott Community College adding esports
Competitive online gaming coming to Fort Scott Community College
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Competitive on-line gaming is coming to southeast Kansas — in the form of a new program at Fort Scott Community College.

Jon Barnes, FSCC Student:”I’ve been playing video games since I was a little kid. It’s just always been something that I’ve liked to do.”

Former basketball player and Yates Center native Jon Barnes will soon get the chance to put that passion to good use.. just like he did with basketball.. thanks to a new esports program at Fort Scott Community College.

Tom Havron, Fort Scott Community College:”We looked around and it was definitely something that we were interested in starting. It’s a billion dollar enterprise, and there’s a lot of interest around the region.”

Esports is competitive online gaming — played at the professional level and streamed and televised to millions.

It’s a growing industry where players team up to play tournaments in popular games like Fortnite, League of Legends and Overwatch — which are streamed and televised to millions.

Havron:”The possibility of somebody becoming professional in e-sports could be just as likely as a student going into the NFL or major leagues. And it could be just as profitable for that student as well.”

It will be considered a varsity sport when the program starts this fall.. and will offer students instruction from a coach, a dedicated practice area, travel to competitions, and even a scholarship for 15 credit hours at the school.

Havron:”To be able to get fifteen hours of books and tuition covered to do something that they love is what every students hopes to be able to do.”

Havron also thinks the program will bring more students with different interests to the college.

Havron:”It’s a new type of student. It’s an informational technology student, which is exciting for us as well because it’s not something that we traditionally have offered a lot of, and this would give us an avenue and a reason to explore that.”

Just one more reason that Barnes is happy to see a new kind of competition and team coming to the school.

Barnes:”An overall different group of people to associate myself with would be important to me.. like another team. And having that team is a good feeling.”

The school is working on putting together a practice area, and hiring a coach for the program.

Students in the program will compete in the games League of Legends and Overwatch, with more games possibly coming in the near future.

Newzoo, an esports analytics company, projects the esports industry to hit one-billion dollars this year.