SEMINOLE — Sports don't always have to take place on a field, court or rink — just ask a group of gamers who've taken part this month in the inaugural ESports Championship, hosted by the Florida Recreation and Park Association.
The event recognizes gamers from all across the state — and across all age groups — who have practiced and refined their skills, and now have the chance to meet on an even playing field.
Qualifying events were hosted earlier this year, and preliminary matches kicked off earlier this month. The championship games are slated to be held Saturday, Aug. 28.
The city of Seminole has been represented by eight teams, competing in Fortnite, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Rocket League, according to Alex Koagel, program coordinator with the city of Seminole. Seminole will have three teams in Super Smash Bros., two teams in Rocket League and three teams in the ever-popular Fortnite.
The city is joining 39 teams from across the state of Florida, Koagel said.
“We are excited to have the city of Seminole represented in all three games and a high possibility of bringing home the trophy,” he said.
Koagel said the city branched out into esports a few years ago with the blessing of city leaders to open a lounge at the recreation center.
When other rec centers around the Sunshine State began discussing a championship, Koagel said it was an easy decision to join the fun.
And it didn't hurt that Seminole’s adventure into esports had a local champion with a little pull in Tallahassee. City recreation director Becky Gunter is also vice-president of FRPA.
"Esports is one of the fastest growing programs in recreation," Gunter said in a press release in May. "Young and young at heart are enjoying the competitiveness of gaming. We are excited to bring our communities the first recreation-based esports tournament in the state of Florida.”
A champion is expected to be named Monday, Aug. 30. For more information about esports, visit myseminole.com.