UT Dallas Hosts Esports Summer Camp for Kids

A fortnight is a British term indicating two weeks time. For half that amount of time, kids from North Texas are perfecting their Fortnite, and other gaming skills, at the University of Texas at Dallas Esports Camp.

"We know this is going to become a bigger industry and plenty of kids are interested in it," said camp counselor James Anyabine, who is also a member of the UT Dallas Varsity Esports team. "We want to show them how it is through, like, a professional standpoint."

This week is the last of three week-long esports camps at UTD. The counselors are members of the university's nationally-ranked esports team, many of them in the top 1% of their respective games.

"It's amazing," said Isaac Juarez, 12, who said his mother suggested he go to UT Dallas Esports Camp this summer. "I never thought there would be a camp in this world just for gaming."

Juarez said he wanted to develop video games when he gets older. 

The camp is not all fun and games.

"This thing that a lot of people think is just for guys sitting in their parents' basements is now turning into careers for people," said 11-year old Bailey Leitch, who wants to manage a professional esports team one day.

Campers learn strategies and troubleshooting for different video games. It takes quick reflexes and creative reasoning.

"None of them (video games) have a clear victory without multiple ways to think about stuff," Anyabine said.

The camp stresses communication and working with teammates, helping them when they need it -- skills that are useful beyond the virtual world.

"You're definitely learning a lot of teamwork skills," Leitch said. "Even if you don't know them, you can learn to still rely on them and trust them. I feel like that's really important in life."

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