Collegiate esports return to Philly for first time since pandemic

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When you think of college level sports, esports usually isn’t one that comes to mind at first. But, major players in the world of video gaming are in Center City this weekend as teams hope to take home one of seven major titles.

Live in-person collegiate esports are back in Philadelphia for the first time since the pandemic. Fourteen teams, along with their family members, are excited to be back together this weekend for the Starleague Grand Finals.  

As young collegiate esports players click away for the title of the shooter video game “Overwatch 2,” one proud grandmother stands out.  

“I’m just an older grandparent who doesn’t understand the new technology, but you can read about the different maps and things online and you educate yourself,” Barbara Hahg, a grandmother of an esports player, said. 

Hahg has been following her grandson, freshman Jonathan Foraker, to nearly every esports event throughout the years.  

But this one was extra special since it brought him close to her home for once.  

“As he was growing up he became interested in the esports, so now he’s all the way out in Boise and we live in Reading, Pennsylvania, so we were able to come down today and see him,” Hahg said. 

Foraker, or “Clear” as he goes by in the gaming world, led the Boise State University esports team to victory. They defeated the University of Texas at Dallas, 5-0.   

“Having anyone, parents, fans, friends to come and support you is really helpful in the game and sort of helps you with your mentality,” Foraker said. 

Head coach Doc Haskell says Foraker has been a standout on the team.  

“Jonathan is maybe the smartest kid on the team when it comes to win condition,” Haskell said. “He’s playing 3D chess and we’re all playing checkers.” 

With the trophy in their hands, the players are just some of the nearly 65 others who are competing in games like “Rocket League,” “Super Smash Bros.” and “League of Legends.”

“Through us the winners get to take home scholarship prizing as well as a championship trophy,” Curtis Winger, the Playfly esports vice president of operations, said.  

“I’m an extremely proud grandparent,” Hahg said.  

It was a win that’s bridging the gap between generations. 



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