HONOLULU (KHON2) — Esports, short for electronic sports, is growing in popularity and a student from the University of Hawaii at Manoa esports program told KHON2 how much he learned over the years.

“Anyone can really pick a pickup a game and play it, but it takes a special, special person to pick up a game, learn it with the team, dedicate the hours and want, want to improve,” said Isai Foglesong, UH esports team leader.

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The UH Manoa esports program is up for the best collegiate esports program of the year award for the second year in a row. The team was announced as a finalist on Aug. 25 and voting ends on Nov. 30. The program leader Nyle Sky Kauweloa is also nominated for the collegiate esports ambassador of the year award.

Kauweloa said it is like the “Grammys, this is where all the pros get their recognition.” Click here to vote.

Foglesong talked about how there is much more to esports than just being a player.

“You have the players, you have the coach, you have the managers for the players, you have the marketing department,” said Foglesong.

He said esports has taught him how to be a leader and work as a team. Kauweloa said companies have hired students coming out of this program because of these qualities.

“If you are playing a video game or making a video game or competing with a video game, um, you, you use particular skill sets, you develop skill sets that are actually quite transferable to different companies.”

Nyle Sky Kauweloa, University of Hawaii at Manoa esports program

They said the future for esports might look like traditional sports with more in-person attendance as well as streaming.

“All football games, there’s at least some audience physically there,” said Foglesong. “That’s not the case right now for esports, and I can see that becoming a thing, but not just highest tiers of play, but kind of how it is for, you know, like little leagues.”

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For more information on the UH esports program click here.