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Students give back through video game tournament

Typically, around this time of the year, the LaGrange College sports management club students are busy working events with NASCAR, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United and more.

Due to COVID-19, all of their annual events were canceled or suspended, but the students still had to think of sporting events they could work, while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Preston James, LaGrange College Sports Management Program director, said the students thought to host an Esport NBA2K Tournament via PlayStation to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We are going to do our part and give back as well,” James said. “This is going to benefit COVID-19 first responders and local food banks in the metro Atlanta and Columbus area. I am always looking for forward-thinking ideas, so this was great. I told them we can do an Esports event, and we all at home so we can all work together.”

James said he has been coordinating with his students through Zoom to video chat to plan the event.

“We’ve been having meetings on Zoom with people from the NBA2K league, coaches and personnel,” James said. “I am always trying to give to a cause. I am a teacher and like to have fun, too. I told them, let’s give to a cause and see who we can benefit from this.”

Half of the proceeds raised from the game will go toward their cause, a portion will also go towards supporting the sports management club and the winner will also receive a cash prize.

“We’ve spoken with executives from Twitch, Jeff Eisenband, an announcer for the NBA2K League, Francis Mccarty, Head of Social Media for the NBA2K League, Alfie Brodie, VP of Global Marketing for ESPN Esports and a few others,” James said. “We were able to consult with the Esports guys up at Turner Esports. They also had a lot of help from one of my former students at a different school who is with corporate sponsorship for Dallas Mavericks and Mavs Gaming (Mavs Gaming is the NBA2K League Team).”

Players paid a $10 sign-up fee, which ended Monday, but those interested can donate still through Wednesday night. The tournament will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29.

Those interested in competing or donating can go to the event’s page at LCSM.eventbrite.com.

To follow along with the game, follow the club on TWITCH @ LC_SportsManagement.

As of Monday morning, James said there were almost 30 competitors entered into the tournament.

For further information, contact James at pjames@lagrange.edu.