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UNLV students hopeful for career in esports

Posted at 11:00 AM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-11 15:29:54-04

This weekend UNLV is hosting the first ever Mountain West Esports Showdown. Gamers from UNLV will compete against Boise State.

The tournament marks a big shift happening right now on university campuses. More and more kids are going to college to play video games.

Brother and sister Milo and Izzi Ocampo convinced their parents coming to UNLV to study esports could lead to a career.

"There is a future in this. Especially since it's not established," Milo said. 

UNLV is on the cusp of an esports explosion on college campuses.

RELATED: UNLV's esports team faces off against Boise State during Mountain West Basketball Tournament

Robert Rippee is the director of the esports lab at UNLV.

"The industry already grew. It's really big. We just kind of woke up to it one day. It was already a massive phenomenon with millions of people playing video games," Rippee said.

And the casino industry is taking notice. There's already in esports lounge inside the Downtown Grand where players go head to head in a variety of games.

"Our esports program is profitable, it drives traffic, it continues to make the Downtown Grand relevant," chairman of the Downtown Grand Seth Schorr said.

In a couple of weeks the Luxor will open what's being billed as the Strip's first ever permanent esports arena where major tournaments will be live streamed across the world and people can bet on games.

Experts are predicting esports will be a billion industry within the next three years.

UNLV junior Tyler Tsunezumi decided to come here because of the esports program. He's hoping to land a job working for one of the casinos.

Esports is growing so popular universities are offering scholarships and student can actually major in it.

UNLV is not offering that yet, but there is hope that will change.