Esports Egg Bowl

Players face off in the last game of seven for title of Esports Egg Bowl champion.

A persistent rivalry played out on a new stage Saturday as Mississippi State University took on Ole Miss in the second annual Esports Egg Bowl.

Last year, the Esports Egg Bowl was held in Oxford, and the Bulldogs were able to come home with a win.

This year, the event saw rosters from both universities square off at Humphrey Coliseum in a seven-game competition. In total, roughly 100 players contributed to the video game gauntlet.

MSU President Mark Keenum opened the event by praising the student-led effort to expand the university’s role in esports, comparing it to the efforts made in the past to expand other collegiate athletics, particularly the Egg Bowl itself.

“Students led that effort,” Keenum said. “When we look back at photographs of those early football games where the students were wearing leather helmets or no helmets and we think about how strange it looked to see the competition in those early football games, well, that was modern competition between those two schools, just like what we’re celebrating today is modern, high-tech competition.”

Ultimately, the rivalry proved intense even in a new setting. Going into the seventh and final game of the day, the universities were tied 3-3. The last game featured a one-versus-one matchup where teams had to knock out each of the five members on the squad sitting opposite of their own.

Clawing and fighting the whole way, each team was reduced down to one member, facing off in a winner-take-all bout. Ole Miss would go on to win the title, making the school up north the Esports Egg Bowl champions for 2019.

For more on this story, read Monday's Starkville Daily News.

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