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esports team members with Ross and Bennie Cook.jpg

ASU President, Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., (L) with Esports director Bennie Cooks and team members (photo contributed by David Campbell/ASU).

Hornets Esports Inaugural Year of Competition Filled with Progress and Success
 
By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU  
Alabama State University’s Esports program is only in its first year of competing but it is already exceeding expectations. 
 
"The goals that are being reached by our team this inaugural season have come at a much quicker and positive rate than anticipated by myself and our staff as it relates to competing against other teams at institutions of higher education," said Bennie Cooks, ASU’s director of External Operations in the University’s Operations and Events Management Department. "We have taken electronic gaming to new heights thanks to our talented students who represent us and due to our new facility that is located on the first-floor of the Hardy Student Center. This has been a wonderful first year."
 
MORE THAN JUST GAMING
ASU's Esport's team is part of the Black Collegiate Gaming Association (BCGA) that is based in Atlanta, Ga. (info@bcgausa.org). BCGA was an integral part of the program being established on campus. ASU is one of the BCGA's 16 charter member school programs.
 
"What the BCGA does is much more than just getting college students who are black and women of color to play computer games. The association at ASU and at the other schools that it oversees, builds competitive skills for Esports and can connect students, as both consumers and contributors on the competitive and corporate level, and allow some to achieve full-time career opportunities in the gaming and Esports industry," said Cooks.  
 
UNDEFEATED HORNET STREAK 
Cooks shared that the Hornet Esports team's success is especially noticeable in competitions involving the popular electronic game, Call of Duty.
 
"Alabama State's team has an undefeated record of 5-0 in its Call of Duty competition," stated Cooks. "Our team finished the season strong in our final match on November 8 with Faulkner University and that allowed the Hornets to maintain its perfect record; however, our achievements extend far beyond Call of Duty, as we've competitively engaged in over four other titles, demonstrating Alabama State's versatility and the competitive spirit that defines us as a winning team of student-electronic gamesters."

Cooks stated that its local competition against Faulkner also included a commanding 2-0 victory in the game Super Smash Bros Ultimate. He feels that such events underscore the University's growing prominence in the electronic gaming landscape.
 
"This win over Faulkner - which has a great team - resonated throughout the venue and was also shared with our online supporters, via Faulkner's live stream of it, which is available for replay at Twitch Livestream Archive if people would like to watch it," Cooks said.
 
LOOKING AHEAD AND ATTRACTING NEW STUDENTS TO ASU
Cooks is very excited about the upcoming summer and spring camps for this ASU electronic sport, as well as BCGA-partnered events in which the team is also planning to participate with other schools. 
 
"These initiatives and our upcoming plans are geared towards engaging students already attending the University and attracting potential future ASU students - all by connecting the community with our Esports endeavors. We're working diligently to establish a more accessible public calendar and social following that reflects our dynamic schedule — one that adapts to our students' academic responsibilities while keeping our supporters in lockstep with our journey," Cooks concluded.

Follow ASU's upcoming matches and tournaments by visiting the team's page at: ASU Esports NSL Page or by calling 334-229-8487 or emailing the program’s director at bcooks@alasu.edu
 
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.
 
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