KILGORE, Texas (KETK) – Kilgore College is launching a new Esports program this year to introduce students to a thriving industry.

A study by Forbes recently ranked the revenue for Esports around $1 billion this year, and will steadily continue to increase as the industry thrives.

For some students at the school, the new course is what drew them to the college.

“I came to Kilgore college because of the esports program,” said Corbin Gilbert. “I took a break for seven years after high school.”

Now Gilbert gets to take part in his favorite hobby for school credit.

Esports involve competitive video game playing, team bonding and strategizing.

“You have to start thinking team-wise and think if I want to succeed how can I help my team to do their best,” said Gilbert.

Competitions are held and participants have the chance to take home prize money.

“Once I heard there where competitions I knew I had to jump on it,” said Ty Engledowl. “I’m going to use the scholarship money I won to help pay for my education.”

Students in the esports program can work with counselors to discover different jobs in the industry, including ones in management, marketing, and game development.

“If anyone is interested in this I would say it’s a fun way to make friends and a cool career path where you get to compete and do get that team aspect,” Engledowl said.

The class meets weekly for their labs and will take part in two different competitions this fall, representing the school for the first time.