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Esports providing different opportunities for athletes

by Jay Shatara

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We all remember our parents yelling at us that we were “frying our brains” by playing video games until two in the morning.

Now, it might actually be encouraged.

“It’s been really neat to see just a little more acceptance,” said Ryan Hughes, Amherst’s Esports head coach.

Nebraska is known for producing talent on the field and courts, but this is a concept that might be foreign to some: Esports continues to grow in the Cornhusker state, featuring 21 schools in the Nebraska Esports Schools Association, with more on the way.

They play each other in games like League of Legends, Super Smash Brothers, and Overwatch.

“I wouldn’t call (the support) nonexistent, but it was a very unheard of industry about five, ten years ago,” said Ryan Hinds, the new Esports coach at Concordia University. “Everybody kind of says, ‘Oh wow, this Esports thing really took off in the last five years’. It’s been building up to this.”

Now that Esports is getting recognized more and more as a team game, coaches say it helps with building a culture.

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