ESports growing during this time

Local Sports

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — While sports lovers are all waiting for contact sports to resume, eSports lovers on the other hand are using this time to stay even more connected during this quarantine period.

Professor Michael Leczinsky spearheads the eSports program over at UAlbany, he said though COVID-19 has impacted the world as we know it now, gaming is truly important for his current and future students. 

“eSports is one of the activities that our students can actually participate in at a distance, Leczinsky said. “We have students not only here in New York State and in different areas of the country, but we actually have some of our international students that are still involved with our eSports and our gaming programs. Being able to come together and continue to work on a team work towards a common goal to see each other and to hear each other is very important.” 

Who better to agree than a player who helped bring the Great Danes their first ever eSports championship trophy, Jin Long Shi. Shi is an avid gamer. He played traditional sports growing up but said he always came back to online gaming. “I think eSports are a beautiful thing but it’s just eSports, so it’s like a unique experience, you know like, League of Legends won finals sold out the Staples Center.” 

Over at UA, gamers play together in a big arena, something Shi said he misses however the show must go on. “Last night for example we had a great community night with everyone from UAlbany.” 

Especially during times like this, it’s important to stay connected while practicing safe and social distancing. “It’s great to kind of keep a bond formed with people and keep socializing and extracting your common hobby and everybody loves gaming”, Shi said. 

UAlbany announced a few days ago the first ever SUNY Chancellor eSports Challenge, a tournament where all SUNY schools would get the chance to all participate together. The three-week tournament begins on Wednesday. 

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