By A.J. Norwood
Not everyone can say that they know what their true passion is right off the bat in college, but for senior Ole Miss Esports President, Sergio Brack, his love for video games has been present since he arrived at the University of Mississippi four years ago. Brack, a Chicago, Ill., native and a third-year Esports member, got his first taste of video games in his hometown thanks to his parents. Brack credits his first console for keeping him out of harm’s way.
“When I was in Chicago, I was born and raised in a neighborhood that wasn’t really the best, a neighborhood called the Wild Hundreds. Instead of letting me get super involved, my parents bought me a Playstation 1,” he said. “That was their way of keeping me inside and out of what was going on around me.”
Serving in and out of leadership positions within the organization for three years now, Brack says that there are many positives that he has gained within his time.
“I definitely think it’s taught me how taxing and how challenging it can be to be a leader,” he said. “It taught me accountability and to realize that I represent something bigger than myself, whether that be on social media or when I’m competing. It taught me that it’s bigger than just I…Now I feel like I put everything but me first.”
Aside from the positive aspects of esports that Brack has been able to enjoy, he recognizes the challenges that the club faces as well.
“The difference between us and professional players that get paid to do this on a regular basis is we’re still in school. We still have to find our way around in terms of finances,” Brack said. “There’s a social life that we have to at least try to maintain for our own mental health…A lot of people think that we’re sitting here playing video games, and it’s not mentally taxing.”
During his time with the esports organization, Brack has had the opportunity to compete in various competitions. One of the most notable competitions is the annual Esports Egg Bowl. In last year’s Esports Egg Bowl, Brack, along with his teammates, were able to knock off the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a competition that went down to the wire. Brack described last year’s win for Ole Miss.
“We won last year. It usually takes place as a best of seven. It was 3-3,” Brack said. “It came all the way down to Smash Bros. Ultimate, and our Smash team managed to close it out, and we brought the trophy home.”
Brack says that in the Esports Egg Bowl’s inaugural year in 2018, Ole Miss Esports was not as fortunate to bring home the trophy, but that changed last year. Now, he has his sights set on becoming the first ever two-time Esports Egg Bowl Winner.
“The first year they took the trophy away from us when we hosted it. The second year we came back and won,” Brack said. “This one coming up is for the first two-time Esports Egg Bowl winner.”
With Brack manning the helm of Ole Miss Esports, he said his expectations for the organization are high. Brack talked about what it will take for Ole Miss Esports to set itself apart from other esports clubs across the country.
“I always told my teams in the executive council that I have behind me that I expect nothing but greatness,” Brack said. “Everybody is supposed to play their role, and play it well and make sure that there are no faults in our engines. We’re one well-oiled machine, and everyone has to do their part to make sure we do the best that we can…I expect championships. I expect to win the Esports Egg Bowl. I expect us to become an even more nationwide name because people look up to Ole Miss Esports and ask us how we got to the point we are today.”
Ole Miss will be competing in the Esports Egg Bowl on Oct. 24-25 at twitch.tv/olemissesports.