University teams play to prove esports worth investment – Spectrum News

University teams play to prove esports worth investment – Spectrum News

AUSTIN, Texas — Ahir Chatterjee has been playing “League of Legends” since the release of season two, which dates back to November 2011. He was in middle school at the time.

2021 will mark 10 years since he picked up the game thanks to his brother.

“It’s a game me and my brother bonded over. We have a six-year age difference so he’s the one who ended up getting me into the game,” Chatterjee said.

Chatterjee’s competitive edge grew, eventually surpassing his brother’s skillset and grabbing the attention of friends in high school. Chatterjee spearheaded a movement to create a team at his school and soon enough, he was winning scholarship money for college.

“It was actually a really insane experience for all of us because we never considered we could actually take this game very seriously,” Chatterjee said.

It was a no-brainer for Chatterjee to join Longhorn Gaming once he started classes at the University of Texas at Austin. As a junior, the 21-year-old is head coach of the League of Legends team.

Ahir Chatterjee is on his computer. (Spectrum News 1)

Over the course of the pandemic, Longhorn Gaming has continued to compete. Unlike traditional sports, esports remained largely unchanged. Gaming analytic company Newzoo says total revenue in 2020 reached just over $950 million. Newzoo estimated that would be $1.1 billion at the beginning of 2020 but the lower figure