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June 04, 2020
The Times-News

Andrews Wins Attacker of the Year Award

by Cody Estremera

For the last two years, Bruce Andrews, a West Point native and former Springwood School graduate, has been a major factor for Columbus State University’s League of Legends varsity squad.  The Cougars’ season was cut short, but Andrews’ play in the shortened season earned him the inaugural Peachbelt Conference Attacker of the Year Award.

Electronic sports – also known as esports – are growing fast in popularity around the world.  Esports range from a variety of games, from first-person shooters (like the Call of Duty franchise), sports games (like Madden) or Online Battle Arenas (like League of Legends).

According to BusinessInsider, the Esports industry had an 837% growth rate in one year as the amount of money invested jumped from $490 million to more than $4.9 billion.

League of Legends, the game Andrews plays, is a team-based strategy game where two teams of five face-off.

Columbus State has a varsity League of Legends team that participates in the Peachbelt Conference.

Andrews has been playing League of Legends since the game was released in 2009.

“I saw some ad on the internet when I was 10, and I thought it looked pretty cool,” Andrews said.

After graduating from Springwood, Andrews began his college career at Southern Union.  Since he knew of colleges starting teams, he decided to try and start a team, but to no avail.  After he finished his second year at Southern Union, he transferred to Columbus State.

When he was there, he saw on the school’s website that it had just completed its regular season, so he applied to be on the team and was accepted.  He now has a scholarship to be on the team.

For the last two years, Andrews has been a major factor for the Cougars’ League of Legends team, as he led the team in kills both years.

“In the scope of the League community, I’m very proud of it, because that’s what everyone low-key kind of wants,” Andrews said.

In a shortened 2020 season, Andrews finished with 181 kills in just 11 matches.  His kill total led the Peachbelt Conference, earning him the inaugural Peachbelt Conference, League of Legends, Attacker of the Year Award.

“Not only did he get the most kills during the Peachbelt Conference season (181 kills based on Battlefy stats), but he did it while doing nutty stuff like Ornn mid [a playable character in the game],” Columbus State Esports Coach Sharon Renner said in a press release. “He has a calm demeanor and is nearly untiltable.  He plays to the strengths of his teammates and provides uplifting and constructive criticism on what he can do better himself and what we can do better as a team.”

Some of the “nutty stuff” that Renner was talking about was Andrews’ ability to play at a high level with characters that most players try to stay away from after a software patch.

“I like to play stuff that people don’t think is good, and if you play it right, it ends up being good,” Andrews said.  “That’s one of the things that can throw people off guard and turn it to your advantage.”

Esports teams take preparation just as seriously as a football or basketball team would in preparing for a match.  During the season, Andrews will play about five hours a day.

“At Columbus State, this year we got our own Esports arena built for us, sponsored by Mediacom,” Andrews said.  “They got us all laptops, so we would all practice together three days a week for three hours.”

In practice, they would figure out their game-plan for their upcoming match and put it into practice.

Since he will still be attending Columbus State next year, Andrews will have a chance to defend his title as Attacker of the Year in 2021 as he continues to complete his degree in Information Technology.

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