Gamers from across the U.S. competed in front of a sold-out crowd at the Cox Pavilion on Saturday for the chance to win free college tuition.
The event, called Heroes of the Dorm, began earlier this year as a March Madness-style esports tournament based on the game "Heroes of the Storm." Competing in teams of six, college students from over 200 universities fought their way into the Round of 64. Teams were then whittled down to the Heroic Four: UTA HOTD from the University of Texas at Arlington, Scratch 'em from the University of Kentucky, Carrying Mistax from the University of California, Irvine, and Pick Rick from Louisiana State University.
Ben Hosford, better known by his gamertag "Hoss," has been around esports since 2011. He's a sophomore at LSU, and already he's made a name for himself as a commentator, a player, and a referee. Born in the United Kingdom, Hoss has literally traveled the globe for his work in the industry.
"The esports community is so communal, everyone's so friendly," he said. That positive vibe drives his studies forward - after graduating college, he wants to go into public relations for a company that runs esports tournaments or manage an event of his own.
Alas, while LSU did advance past the Heroic Four, they were no match for UT Arlington. UTA HOTD swept Pick Rick in the final round of the tournament, giving them a 29-0 record in the competitive season.
Still, Hoss and his teammates can hold their heads high knowing that they made a valiant run. He did float the idea of leaving "Heroes" as a player and focusing more on other aspects of esports, but his career in the industry is far from over.
"I'll stay in esports for a while to come," he said.