Bellarmine arch

The entrance to Bellarmine University.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Bellarmine University will host its first Esports Open this weekend with teams from around the state.

In a news release Tuesday, Bellarmine said 170 gamers representing 15 high schools will compete March 17-19 in "League of Legends," "Rocket League" and "Super Smash."

"Bellarmine is really positioning itself to be a leader in the Esports space," said Ben Sobcyzk, a sports administration instructor and the coach of Bellarmine's Esports team.

Bellarmine started a minor in Esports last fall, the only such credential in Kentucky. 

"The term 'Esports' is new to many people, but it has quietly become one of the fastest-growing industries in the world," Sobcyzk said in a news release Tuesday. "The prize pools for several Esports events now rivals mainstream events like The Masters in golf, and the global viewership for a couple of Esports events is bigger than the Super Bowl. Esports has the attention of many companies, gaining major sponsorships in advertising. The money videogames make is more than the music and movie industry combined. Esports is just getting started."

The Esports Open will be held in Frazier Hall on Bellarmine's campus from 6-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday with the championship beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday. 

The public is invited to attend, and $7 daily tickets and $15 weekend passes are available at the door. Admission is free for all Bellarmine faculty, staff and students.

Copyright 2023 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.