For millions of college students around the country, coronavirus lockdowns effectively canceled their hobbies and extracurriculars. But that’s not the case for Madison Cragle, a graphic design major at the State University of New York at Canton. She’s co-captain of her school’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate team — an esports team. That’s right, varsity video games.
“There’s a joke going around that once the quarantine ends, everyone’s going to be like a thousand times better because we have nothing else to do,” Cragle says. Besides all the extra practice time, right now, Cragle’s actually playing in a tournament alongside hundreds of her fellow students. The $20,000 prize pool will go to a SUNY student emergency aid fund, medical research, personal protective equipment and student scholarships. It’s sponsored by Extreme Networks, a technology company that provides the technical infrastructure for varsity esports at Canton and other campuses around the country.