VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Forget a field, weights or a ball - equipment for Virginia Wesleyan's newest sport team consists of 17 powerhouse PCs and an updated, unused classroom.
The school's E-Sports team is gearing up for their first season on campus. In the brand-new, completely donated Marlin E-Sports Arena, students like Brandon Kwon are preparing for local and national competitions.
"We know that we are a strong team, and at the end of the day we're going to do our best to try and compete and play our own game," explained Kwon, who has been playing video games since he was 10 years old.
Now, the freshman is taking those skills and combining them with his other Marlin teammates.
"The more chemistry you have in the game, the more your team will match and win games overall."
It's just one of the ways staff say E-Sports is like any other athletic team on campus.
"There's leadership, there's sportsmanship, there's sense of strategy for each of the games," explained Christopher Davis, Director of E-Sports at Virginia Wesleyan University. "You might not be doing calisthenics every day, but you are developing your biggest muscle in your whole body: Your brain."
Right now, the team is at the club level, but the university hopes to make it a varsity-level sport with the potential for scholarships soon. Besides professional soccer, E-Sports is the second most-watched sport in the world.
Davis sees his new team as an opportunity; not just for athletics, but for the university as well.
"There’s a very cross-curricular opportunity here in academics, everything from communications to marketing to business to sports training to really anything you can think of," said Davis.
To learn more about the E-Sports team, visit the university's website.