Kilgore College esports

Kilgore College staff cut the ribbon March 2 on its esports training room at the Devall Student Center.

From Staff Reports

Kilgore College esports competitors have a new place to perfect their skills on campus.

The campus officially opened an esports training room on March 2 at the Devall Student Center.

The facility features the best available gaming stations, according to a written statement from the college.

“If students want to join the ranks of the professional gamers, they have to hit a very special type of gym,” Andy Taylor, esports coach said. “We are extremely proud of our new ‘gym’ that gives our students a place to practice and prepare for competitions.”

The program started in 2019, according to the college. The 26-member team also added five new members on the day of the ribbon cutting.

“Right now, our team consists of 26 members but we have a total of 64 students involved in the program,” Taylor said. “And that number will continue to grow as word spreads. Students competing on varsity teams must meet academic requirements and be enrolled full time.”

The college and the Longview Mall will host a gaming tournament April 18 at the mall. The 64-player competition will be called the Longview Legends Cup. Winners will receive Kilgore College scholarships.

“It’s going to be a huge event and it’s something Longview has never seen,” Taylor said. “Visitors to the mall will be able to watch all of the action live and cheer on their favorite gamers.”

Students interested in gaming also have game design course options at the college, according to the college. The school has a one-year certificate program in software support and an associate degree path in software development and support.

Courses include mobile applications development and introduction to game design and development.

“This approach stokes the students’ passion for software development while also providing them direct experience in the $100+ billion gaming industry,” software development instructor Mark Stephens said.

Kristen is the News-Journal's education reporter. A Longview native, she got a journalism degree and a graduate certificate at Texas Tech University. She covers a variety of issues, including school finance, board meetings and happenings at local schools.