USC Sumter's eSports is Hot with the Fire Ants

When you think of college sports this time of the year, you probably have visions of the Gamecocks or Tigers on the football field.But the Fire Ants at USC Sumter are fielding a different type of team, in a sport you've probably never heard of.

Sumter, SC (WLTX) -- It may be the biggest sport you have never heard of, but eSports is growing quickly. The varsity sport at USC Sumter is hot with the Fire Ants.

Kris Weissmann said, "eSports is just competitive gaming. It can take a lot of different, specific avenues, whether it is pro, amateur or collegiate."

Weissmann is the director of student life and eSports at USC Sumter. He said the Fire Ants are the only eSports varsity college team in the state.

"We have a dedicated facility. We recruit players. We have the opportunity to offer scholarships. They have to maintain GPA and study hall hours, all the normal things that student-athletes would do," said Weissmann.

The team is competing in its third season. Clark McDaniel is the team captain. He says this sport has improved his college experience.

McDaniel said, "We have to be here. We have got to train. It definitely helps you organize your time better, so it helped with that."

He said meeting new people has also made the sport fun, "I wouldn't have met these people if it weren't for the eSports program."

Even though it is a little different than traditional college sports, eSports is growing with gamers every year. Weissmann said, "We're almost up to 30 members currently, so they are definitely excited and interested."

He said, "It is a different opportunity than what students are used to being available for them."

The team is 5-1 this season, but if this sport makes more students further their education, it is a win for Weissmann.

He said, "There might be some students out there, that once they know this is available, they might think about going to college." He added the students could pursue a degree while doing something they are interested in.

According to the National Association of Collegiate E-sports, USC Sumter is one of about 40 schools that compete in this sport.

The Fire Ants finish the season this week. The last regular season match is Tuesday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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