Bullitt Central graduates prove playing video games pays off

Published: May. 17, 2021 at 10:19 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Parents, the next time you get upset because your kids are playing video games, you may want to reconsider.

Two Bullitt Central High School graduates are living proof that playing games can pay off, after helping their school win the Collegiate Esports National Championship.

Esports may be the ticket to a scholarship. Schools like the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky have sponsors investing in teams, Ohio State is among the schools that have built new arenas, specifically for gaming competition.

Bullitt Central graduate Chris Abbott said, “Ottawa’s coach hit me up and was like, ‘Hey, we will offer you a scholarship if you come here and play Call of Duty for us.’”

You heard it right, a college scholarship to play Call of Duty.

“The reaction I get when I tell people I got a scholarship for Esports, to play Call of Duty in college is like, ‘what?’” Abbott’s teammate, Ethan Moore, said.

Abbott and his buddy Ethen Moore were recruited to Ottawa College in Kansas. Ethan’s dad, GJ, said it came after his son tried a year of college baseball.

“It was a lot better opportunity in Esports than in baseball,” GJ Moore said.

That’s an understatement, the two Bullitt Central High School grads helped Ottawa win the Collegiate Esports National Championship at the end of April.

GJ Moore added, “They’re kind of like the Alabama of the Esports world right now.”

Some relatives still don’t get it.

“When I tell them it’s an athletic scholarship and that basically I’m an athlete on campus, they’re mind blown,” Abbott explained.

Esports popularity soared during the pandemic as many traditional sporting events were sidelined.

“The fact that we’re finally getting it and there’s a lot of money going into it is like really cool,” Ethan Moore said of the response to Esports in recent years.

How much money are we talking about? Since the NCAA isn’t governing Esports yet, amateurs keep thousands in winnings at tournaments across the country. The two split $25,000 with their team for winning the championship. If they go pro?

“There are quite a few millionaires that are pro Call of Duty players,” Ethan Moore said.

The two National champs who’ve always loved playing games are hopeful Esports growth will continue to fill the generation gap.

Ethan Moore said, “It’s really helping parents see the positive side of Esports and everything.”

Abbott added, “Number one, if your kids have a passion for something, I just say support them, but also help them maintain a balance and have other plans, in case it doesn’t work out.”

Both students have business related majors and are headed to Texas this May for another tournament, all expenses paid.

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