Saving for college one video tourney at a time

Published 6:00 am Saturday, November 7, 2015

ORANGE — Parents may want to think twice before telling their child to turn off the video game.

A West Orange – Stark middle school student, William Robles, started playing Call of Duty tournaments in July. To his father’s surprise, William won.

Call of Duty is a first-person shooter video game for Xbox 360.

“The tournament was a non-money tournament,” Domonick Robles, William’s father, said. “He beat one of the top players in the world.”

William, captain of his team known as The Undead, received MVP during a tournament in October.

The family moved to Orange in February. Prior to the move, William was only playing the video game one hour a week.

“What I did not know was that he was making the most of that one hour,” Domonick said. “He asked if he could play in a tournament. He is a straight A student so I said just do it.”

During the summer, a team was assembled with members across the country and Europe.

“A couple of the tournaments cost money,” Domonick said. “His mother and I only paid for one or two.”

It was the July 4 game that changed the status of the game from entertainment to a sport.

William beat the top player in a one on won match. Since then he has acquired two sponsors: Cinch Gaming and NoScope.

Cinch Gaming is leader in providing the best gaming experience to both professional and casual gamers alike according to its official website.

NoScope produces glasses formed to fill the need of gamers and computer users according to a press release.

Competitive video gaming, or e-sports, has exploded in the U.S. over the last five years as advances in technology have made the games better and the world smaller. Newzoo, a market research firm, estimates that 93 million Americans are active in sports, but more than twice as many—194 million—regularly play video games according to an Oct. 29, 2015 article in Sports Illustrated.

27 million viewers watched League of Legends Season 4 World Tournament in Oct. 2014, The 2014 World Series was viewed by 15.8 million viewers. 26.5 million people watched the World Cup final.

William broke two records in one month by winning his first Halo tournament last weekend bringing his total winnings thus far to approximately $7,000.

However, video games are not the only game William enjoys.

“I will probably slow down on the tournaments during Baseball season,” William said.

William plans to study Computer Engineering and Graphics Engineering in college.

“I think it would be fun working on a video game,” William said.

Domonick said the funds from the tournaments are set aside for college.

Until then, William awaits word if The Undead will be selected as one of the 50 teams in December to try out for a land tournament. The tournament is scheduled for March with a grand prize of $2 million.