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[game release october 2019]Video game tournament draws college teams nationwide to St. Louis as esports’ popularity booms

2021-10-05

  

  Haydn “TreeKangar00” Steffes, a gamer and college student at the University of Texas at Dallas, joins teammates as they watch a match Friday, July 2, 2021, at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village. Steffes said he did his best to make his hair match his jersey for the competition. Sixteen teams are in St. Louis for the weekend tournament.

  Robert Cohen,

  

  Illinois Wesleyan team members Chistopher “Fizzi” Savino, left, Sameer “Kongzhi” Alam, Gavin “Rune Weaver” Meagher and Jeff “Dogge” Chai watch the tape delay ending of their losing effort against Maryville University at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Jordan “Shady” Robison of Maryville University keeps his fingers warm for the keyboard as he waits to play a match against Illinois Wesleyan at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Illinois Wesleyan’s Sameer “Kongzhi” Alam has a laugh with Gavin “Rune Weaver” Meagher after their team lost their match against Maryville University at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Members of the Maryville University esports club, play a match against Illinois Wesleyan at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Haydn “TreeKangar00” Steffes of the University of Texas at Dallas, plays behind a video board at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Sixteen teams are in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  A well-worn mouse sits ready for Jordan “Shady” Robison of Maryville University as he waits to play a match against Illinois Wesleyan at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Haydn “TreeKangar00” Steffes of the University of Texas at Dallas stands out while his team plays against the Harrisburg University Storm at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Steffes said he did his best to make his hair match his jersey for the competition. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Nathan “The Odd Orange” Ryan, center, talks with teammate Djalal “Spirax” Djiar at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen

  

  Maryville University’s Zachary “Yen” Rainey gives a hug to Illinois Wesleyan’s Sameer “Kongzhi” Alam after Alam’s team lost their match against Maryville at the Gateway Legends Collegiate Invitational in Ballpark Village on Friday, July 2, 2021. Maryville is a three-time national champion and the favorite to win among the sixteen teams in St. Louis for the weekend tournament. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

  Robert Cohen