BISMARCK, N.D. - Bismarck State College is hosting an e-sports tournament this weekend. Seven North Dakota schools made their way Bismarck to compete in the college's first-ever e-sports tournament championship.
It's a first for BSC, and it's the first for the state. The youngest crop in a growing industry meeting here to compete in e-sports.
It's not all fun and games. For these students, it means so much more.
"You go back 10 years ago, e-sports and video games in general, you know, not as explosively massive as they are today,” player Michael Borysewicz said.
Borysewicz, or Admiral Pork Loin, is the shot caller for Larimore, which founded their e-sports program just one year ago, and now find themselves competing in a Statewide Invitational.
"Me and a couple of my friends petitioned for the school board, and sat in on a school board meeting and said, 'hey we have some kids who would like to be involved in activities other than just your basic basketball, football, and stuff like that, you know?” Borysewicz said.
E-sports has been exploding in North Dakota. Many high schools, and even some universities, expanding or creating e-sports programs. The students have an opportunity to develop skills beyond just gaming.
"This is a sport, but it's honing those skills they need to be in the work force, just like being on a football field or a basketball court does for employers in the future. So, this is a new age and now we're doing it digitally and it's just very exciting,” BSC President Larry Skogen said.
After opening the ceremony, Skogen was awarded his very own BSC e-sports jersey.
Saturday at 8 a.m., the tournament continues. A champion is named.