BLOOMINGTON Ill. (WMBD) — Gamers from all over the country went head-to-head in an E-sports tournament Oct. 21 -22.
Sixteen colleges from across the nation met at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington on Saturday and Sunday, competing in the Bloomington-Normal SixtySix Games League of Legends tournament. League of Legends is a multiplayer online battle arena video game. The team that comes in first place wins the $8,000 prize pool.
Chairman Jonathan Strupek compared E-sports to traditional sports and thinks it’s only a matter of time until they are equally popular.
“It’s the same with people who sit and watch football, soccer, or their sport of choice in front of the television,” said Strupek. “They’re sitting there eating and drinking, yelling at the team that they can do better, it’s the same thing with e-sports. It’s the guys sitting there watching other people who are better than them, but it’s something they enjoy watching. It’s slowly becoming more accepted, we’ll say, but it’s really taken off in the last few years.”
Along with the video games, there was a non-competitive open division available where they could play board games and card games.
The teams that competed in the tournament were Illinois State University, University of Illinois, Fisher College, Maryville University, Winthrop University, University of Mississippi, Purdue Northwest, Saint Louis University, Ball State University, Northwood University, Bethany Lutheran College, Harrisburg University, Grand View University, University of California San Diego, Converse University, and Oklahoma Christian University.