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eSports Tournament Comes to Mason, New Program To NKY High School

An eSports set-up.
An eSports set-up.

Three-hundred and eighty million people watched eSports in 2018, according to a report from market analytics company Newzoo, which offered details about the $1 billion burgeoning industry. The activity is so popular now that dozens of colleges have launched varsity eSports teams, some with scholarship opportunities, and it is now a sanctioned sport recognized by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.

National championships result in thousands of dollars in prize money for winners. eSports, which stands for electronic sports, is not to be confused with video games. Instead, it features competitive gameplay between teams with its own strict rules and guidelines. The activity builds upon teamwork, communication, strategic thinking and leadership.

The League of Legends tournament in 2017 generated $6.5 million in ticket sales. Now, a large eSports tournament is coming to Mason.

PiviP will host its tournament and gaming conference at Kings Island on Saturday, May 18. The event will feature a Collegiate Overwatch tournament and amateur tournaments for games like Fortnite, League of Legends and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate.

Meanwhile, at Dayton High School, in Kentucky, a nascent program qualified for the state tournament this past season and made it to the second round with a 12-6 record.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss eSports are Brandemonium and Bunbury Music Festival co-founder Bill Donabedian, who also cofounded the PiviP tournament; Wade Barnes, a Cincinnati-based YouTube gaming personality, better known online as LordMinion777 and who has amassed a YouTube following of more than 1.5 million; Dayton High School eSports head coach Alex Laufman, and Dayton freshman and eSports competitor Joey Klosterman.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the new host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.