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Colleges Getting in on Rising Popularity of Esports

DALLAS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- You might want to think twice before telling your kids to put down the video game controller.

Kyle "Bugha" Giersdorf, a 16 year old from Pottsgrove, just took home took home $3 million this weekend after being named the first-ever Fortnite World Cup Solo Champion.

Now, colleges and universities are catching on with the tech trend.

Misericordia University senior Zoe LaPorte was one of the first to sign up when the school announced it was making an esports team.

"At first I thought, 'Is this really going to happen?' Then suddenly the computers started coming in, all the chairs were coming in, and I was like, 'Oh my God. This is for real!' It's just so exciting," LaPorte said.

The university hopes to have a roster of 25 students on its esports team. Players will duke it out against colleges across the country.

The university was careful with the games it chose to have students play. Administrators made sure the games are non-violent and respect women and children. Students will be competing in League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Rocket League this fall.

Coaches will also be there to make sure students aren't spending too much time in front of the screen.

"You wouldn't want a basketball player shooting free throws until all hours. There has to be some sense of control, if you will, and concern for these young men and women who are going to compete," Director of Athletics Chuck Edkins said.

These student video gamers will also be hitting the gym. They will be doing workouts focusing on their core for strength conditioning.

"As we would with any other sport, there's times when they could be in the weight room. There's times when they're in their practice facility. There's times when they are competing," Edkins said.

After college, Zoe hopes to use her communications degree and gaming skills to land a job within the wide world of esports.

"Things are changing and more people are getting involved and that's a good thing. As long as we're making teams and promoting good teamwork, I think it's all good," LaPorte said.

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