BOISE, Idaho — The Boise State football team will trade in their cleats for a headset and step into a new playing field Thursday, where they'll face off against the BSU eSports team on Twitch.
"We know they're pro gamers, so we are going to bring some guys ready for them," said BSU football player Avery Williams.
But, it's a lot more than just bragging rights on the line. The Idaho Central Credit Union donated $5,000 to the winners of each match that will go towards two different scholarship funds.
The football team will be playing for the President's Excellence Fund, which allows the President to help students in critical situations, and the eSports team will be playing for the Dean of Students Assistance Funds, which helps students with financial hardships.
"I think it's a great thing and idea, especially during times like this where interactions with others are limited, community service is limited, but we can still do something to benefit someone out there," said Williams.
Even though the eSports team spends over 40 hours a week gaming, some of the eSports players say that the competition is more evenly matched than some might think.
"Once they realize they already have the ability to communicate quickly, fast, and together they are going to have a massive advantage in some of these games," said BSU eSports team captain Madisyn Berge.
The matchup will consist of five games, like Madden and Call of Duty. Williams says that he is most excited to be back with his teammates competing again.
"I'm excited to see our competitive tenacity still. Obviously, we haven't got to play against each other, or do anything in real life," said Williams. "But, I can't wait to see things like how our communication is and other things we've been missing out on."
But, the question remains. Who will win?
“I'm just hoping for the best," said BSU eSports team captain Matthew Walsh. "I don’t want to lose in some of the games I play a lot, let’s just put it like that."
The games will be broadcast live from 7 to 10 p.m. with Michael Fisher and David McKinzie commentating. Fans can also expect appearances from BSU President Dr. Marlene Tromp, football head coach Bryan Harsin and other special guests.
To catch all the action, tune in to Twitch.
For those wanting to join in, the teams are asking for money donations. All proceeds will go directly to supporting students who need help during these difficult times. To make a financial contribution visit their website.