A team from Georgia Institute of Technology, including an Indian American student, has won the Hearthstone Collegiate Championship, part of the first-ever ESPN Collegiate Esports Championship, held in Houston, Texas.
Shiv Chopra, along with two Georgia Tech teammates, swept off Minnesota team 3-0 in the final match in Houston on Saturday that was streamed live on ESPN3, Twitch.tv, and other platforms.
Chopra and his teammates, Tyler Hiu and Sean Joplin, also claimed $9,000 each in scholarship money.
“We chose one uncommon deck, focused on each match at hand, were considered the underdogs yet swept the semifinal (against Rochester Institute of Technology) and final 3-0 (in a best of 5 games format),” Chopra was quoted as saying in media reports.
Chopra is a 4th year computer engineering student at Georgia Tech, where he has been accepted to simultaneously start his masters.
He emigrated to America 11 years ago with his journalist father, Parveen Chopra, who is now editor of an Indian community weekly paper based in Long Island, New York. Shiv Chopra graduated from Hicksville High School on Long Island.
A gaming enthusiast since childhood, Chopra has regularly played Hearthstone (an online digital collectible card game) for the past 4 years.
Some 400 college teams from the US and Canada participated in the Hearthstone championship qualifiers starting in March this year. But only the semi-finals and championship match was on live LAN (local area network) in Houston, produced and staged by ESPN Events.
Esports are becoming more and more popular with the younger population and now ESPN is giving it a sheen even as many question whether esports are sports in the first place.