Central Community College Esports goes to National Championship in first year

Local4 News at 5
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A new program at a local college is seeing success right from the jump. Central Community College’s Esports team competed in the NJCAAE National Championship in its first year as a program.

Zack Hollingworth and Justice Silver represented the school competing in Call of Duty: Cold War against Iowa Western Community College. The pair came to Hastings from New Mexico, and for one of them competing in esports took a little convincing.

“My instructor actually pushed me to do it,” Hollingworth said. “I’m not going to lie. I’ve played Call of Duty a lot growing up as well so I kinda thought I be good at it. So I just kinda went for it, but it’s mainly my instructor John Oberheide.”

It took a week of convincing but Hollingworth eventually decided to try out for the team. Silver even offered to buy the game for Hollingworth, and they got to try out for the team together. The duo also stated that playing Esports takes more than just playing the game, it’s about the technique.

“I would say so,” said Hollingworth. “Because when you’re practicing you have to practice in like a more serious manner. As such as like having a learning mindset, instead of going in with the objective of always winning. Whenever you’re playing for fun you’re just doing it for giggles, in my opinion. I’m very competitive but I’m playing for fun then just got to be giggly.”

Silver stated there’s more strategy involved in playing esports. Everyone has a role and a certain gun they’re assigned to during the match. Although the two grew other together in Albuquerque, they actually started off as enemies. But now, they can practically read each other’s mind.

“I know how he plays, I know his play style stuff like that and I try to you know base off of mine,” Silver said. “So I don’t have like get in his way, where he does his stuff to go you know, go on a kill feed and I try to stay, try to support him if not, it’s vice versa. So we both know how each other play and then like I said we been playing since middle school.”

Silver said with it being a two-versus-two gunfight team, it brought out their chemistry. From the time of middle school they’ve grown closer than ever.

“We had friends who were friends with us at the time being, and then you know birthday parties we see each other a lot, we hanged and then I started to hangout with him because we had some games in common,” Silver said. “We have multiple stuff in common, we started playing, playing over the years, it started to grow and then right now you know we’re best friends.”

Hollingworth said now they’re like brothers and competing in the National Championship was a different environment.