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MidAmerican Rec Plex hosts metro’s first esport tournament

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Video gamers from across the state competed in an esports tournament on Saturday. Event organizers say it’s the first tournament of it’s kind in the metro.

High schoolers and college students competed against each other in the first-person shooter game Valorant. The tournament was hosted by Cobratype Computers, a company that sells gaming PCs, and was held at MidAmerican Energy’s Rec Plex.

Sammi Hakeem, Director of Marketing at Cobratype said this tournament is exciting for the gaming community.

“For high schoolers to be able to play top-level college teams is really exciting for them and it’s a great opportunity,” Hakeem said.

Gaming athletes hope this kind of tournament not only brings more attention to the validity of the sport, but also creates more opportunities for players in the future.

Bing Lovan, a player for the Radiant Rising Gold University of Iowa team, said he hopes the universities will acknowledge the sport more in the future.

“I hope that by the time I’m done scholarships and other opportunities for people are more widespread,” Lovan said.

Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, the University of Iowa, and many other colleges have esports clubs that compete against each other in different video game tournaments.

The growing popularity in these clubs have resulted in colleges creating esports lounges on their campuses. The University of Iowa will be building a dedicated esports lounge in their Iowa Memorial Union this fall.

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