TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The Tulsa Public Schools hosted the Esports Tournament of Champions on Saturday at Oral Roberts University.
The tournament pitted dozens of high schoolers against each other in a gaming tournament of Nintendo's Super Smash Bros.
It may not be a packed crowd, but tournament director Ryan Boatright believes Esports will soon capture hundreds more in the area.
"Esports is one of the fastest growing sports there is. It's a $2.2 billion industry. It's massive, everyone plays video games," he said.
Organizers have plans to turn gaming into a full fledged sport.
They believe that Esports has no ceiling whenever it comes to potential for popularity.
The integration of video games in schools hasn't been something that was always accepted.
"Growing up everyone was like 'video games are bad, they rot your brain' and all that stuff. 'You can never go anywhere with video games' is what we were told as kids. Now people are making millions of dollars doing something they love," Boatright said.
Tournament players have practiced long hours for this day.
Joshua Brewer, 17, told Tulsa's Channel 8, he plays eight to 10 hours every non-school day.
"I hope that I can just kind of elevate my skills," Brewer said.
Brewer believes the gaming world will continue to expand in schools.
"There's just so many different types that there's something for everyone. It could be just like a simple puzzling game like Tetris. Competitive Tetris, that'd be kind of fun," he said.
Boatright wants to build Esports to be recognized across the state to compete against other schools.
"So we are really excited to create a league, have rules, regulations all that stuff, and have a lot of fun competing in something we love," he said.
More gaming competitions are in the works for TPS.