Dan Levy & WNYT Staff
Updated: February 17, 2020 05:51 PM
Created: February 17, 2020 12:00 PM
Gaming skills will be on display at Saint Rose on Monday.
A gaming competition will take place at 1 p.m. at the College of Saint Rose E-Sports Arena. Gaming skills will be on full display, and destiny will be on the line.
If you think about it, it only took just a few short years for e-sport video gaming to make it from millennial man caves into the mainstream of college campuses across the country.
"As a millennial, I was born with video games," says Dan Mariano, coach of the e-sports team at the College of Saint Rose.
Marino says he needs to pinch himself every day to remind himself how blessed he is, not just because he earns a living playing video games, but because of his role as the varsity coach of the e-sports team at the College of Saint Rose. Mariano gets to pick the players and blaze the path for the future of this relatively new sport that is growing exponentially across the country and around the world.
"My background is in traditional sports. I always looked at what e-sports was, all those years before as something that was probably going to fizzle out, it wasn't a real sport. [Then] I wind up here trying to figure out the best way to grow it," added Marino.
Mariano now sees e-sports as having unlimited potential. The e-sports tournament will be held on Monday and Tuesday at the E-Sports Arena. Participants will occur for $5,000 in college scholarship money.
Colleges are taking gaming very seriously. In fact, more than 200 colleges across the country have already established e-sports as a varsity sport.
Mariano sees many similarities between e-sports and traditional college athletics.
"So when we practice, we learn how to communicate effectively, we learn how to make decisions under pressure, we learn how to be leaders, not just on a sports team but outside of them," said Marino. "You can notice a real difference in the students and their competence and their abilities after being on the team for a couple of months."
Coach Marino says he's certain e-sports is far from finished when it comes to growing. Within the next five years, he believes, e-sports will be the third most popular sport on American college campuses, after football and basketball.
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