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Esports gains traction at Carlson Boys & Girls Club

The club hasn’t made their competitive debut just yet but are looking to challenge Rockford teams and other clubs.
Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 10:37 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “I know people in the Philippines who would kill to be in my place right now,” said League of Legends player Jeremeh Dagdayan.

Carlson Boys & Girls club member Dagdayan immigrated to America after 12 years of living in the Philippines. Since then, he’s found a home in the club’s Esports program, a kick start to his future career as a professional gamer.

“When I was a kid, me and my sister would always want to play video games, but we wouldn’t be able to, but we always knew we were good at it,” Dagdayan said. “We always wanted to go pro at it, and this is a big opportunity for us.”

The Esports club has six members that specialize in League of Legends and Fortnite. They spend their summer afternoons improving their gaming at the club while also grasping the behind-the-scenes side of gaming. The members built some of their PC’s from scratch, build robots and even practice their color commentary on each other’s video game matches.

“It’s really showing them the different careers you can have in the arena but also the gaming, because that can be a big business too.” said unit director Sheila Becker. “There are scholarships available. There are people that make millions of dollars every year playing video games, so just trying to teach them more than what they see on the surface.”

Esports coach Michael Landi says he’s seen tremendous growth in the club members since joining Esports. It’s more than just playing a game. It’s gaining additional life skills while of course having a fun outlet with your friends.

“They’ll have a better understanding of the Esports world versus, ‘oh, I just played this one game, and that’s my only skill set and all I have to offer,’ so it kind of makes them more well rounded,” Landi said.

The club hasn’t made their competitive debut just yet but are looking to challenge Rockford teams and other clubs. These kids are ready to play.

“I’m not even close to being the best, but I know I will be the best.” Dagdayan said.

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