Video games gives Limestone Esports athlete life-changing education

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 7:25 PM EST
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GAFFNEY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - “It’s not every day that you can say, oh, I’m a college athlete

Jesus Quiones is a captain on Limestone’s Esports team.

“I compete for a school,” Jesus Quiones, Limestone Esports captain, said. “It is crazy just thinking that I have the privilege to say that I’m a college athlete for Esports.”

He’s an athlete, just like any other.

“It’s the same aspect as playing football,” Quiones said. “Like you’re training, you’re learning everything, learning the game, learning how everything works. It’s just the same thing as football at the end of the day.”

Video games providing him a chance for a college degree.

“It’s just amazing and I’m just in shock still that I’m able to have this opportunity to compete at what I love.” Quiones said.

Jesus is a first-generation student. His family immigrated from Mexico before he was born. Years later, Jesus has a college scholarship through Esports.

“They grew up like just having nothing. So everything I do is just for them, in all honesty, because I just want to make them proud as I can,” Quiones said. “So if you think you can’t do it, you can do it because two years ago, I didn’t think I would be here right now competing at a collegiate level.

Limestone’s Esports coach Zachary Lewis started the program back in 2020. It’s grown from just five athletes to now 25 athletes on scholarship.

“We’ve got so many things happening on a day-to-day basis,” Zachary Lewis, Limestone Esports head coach, said. “It’s amazing, really. it’s a community now, and to see it come up in this way has been phenomenal.”

And Coach Lewis says Esports are for anyone.

“Historically speaking you could come from a poor family and if you were just phenomenal at soccer, let’s say you had, you had long legs, you were fast at running. You, you just had the genetics for it. You could, you could go to almost any school and make a lot of money,” Lewis said. “That same opportunity though, isn’t afforded to 99% of the population when you just don’t have those genetics to run across a field. And that’s the thing about eSports is that it’s not gated by how well you were born. It’s gated by how good you want to become.”

Limestone’s newly created Overwatch team recently won a championship, marking the first title for the young program.