xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Eldersburg 12-year-old wins scholarship by playing 'Minecraft'

Hutton Steier won a $3,000 scholarship by playing "Minecraft" in the Super League Gaming World Championships.
Hutton Steier won a $3,000 scholarship by playing "Minecraft" in the Super League Gaming World Championships.

Since the release of "Pong," parents everywhere have warned their children to stop playing so many video games and focus on their schoolwork in order to get into a good college. Hutton Steier, 12, of Eldersburg, has now provided kids of all ages with the perfect excuse for their gaming lifestyle, as he just brought home a $3,000 college scholarship for playing the computer game Minecraft.

Hutton, along with four other Maryland gamers won the second season of the Super League Gaming's World Championship in Minecraft. The group beat out more than 450 teams from throughout the U.S. and Canada and almost 2,000 players, earning a $15,000 college scholarship split five ways. Players competed throuhgout March for one night a week four weeks in a row in movie theaters across the country.

Advertisement

Minecraft is an open world multiplayer video game, where players are invited to explore, build and battle in a variety of different modes of gameplay.

Hutton has been playing Minecraft for about two years now. He first heard about the league while watching Minecraft videos on YouTube, with one of his favorite streamers recommending the contest to his followers. He ran the idea by his mom and dad, who said they looked into the program and decided to figure out a way for him to compete.

Advertisement
Advertisement

"He was so excited that he told us he wanted to pay for it himself, and do the entire program with his own money," Hutton's mom Jen Steier said. "It was tricky to schedule, because he plays sports and has a lot going on after school, but it was important to him, so we made it work."

Each week, after Hutton saved the $80 registration fee, the family would drive to the movie theater at Arundel Mills mall, where Hutton joined his teammates for an evening of play. Jen Steier said she supports Hutton's passion for the game, even if she doesn't always understand the intricacies of the game itself.

"I sat and I watched him play in the league one week," she said. "I had no idea what I was seeing in the theater. I could sometimes tell which one was Hutton, and I saw the score kept going up, so it looked like he was doing well."

Hutton said each week, the teams would collaborate toward achieving different goals, from gathering resources to surviving hordes of zombies. Together they accumulated points that would be added to the leaderboard and compared to players from across the country and Canada.

Advertisement

According to Brett Morris, CEO of Super League, the competition is designed to bring a social aspect of play to gaming, which is generally a solitary act.

"The idea came out of a handful of parents who had kids who played sports, but they also loved to game," Morris said. "They started wondering, why can't their be a league for gamers too?"

According to Hutton, the League was his first time playing in person with other gamers in a large group setting. The team, he said, started out as strangers, but they soon bonded and became friends. Now, he and another member of the team continue to play each other online.

"As soon as I heard you could play Minecraft competitively, I knew it was something I wanted to do," Hutton said. "I just love to play, and this seemed like a really cool opportunity."

After the final session, Hutton said he and his family waited for what seemed like forever for the final point tallies to come in. Though the group was consistently near the top of the leaderboards, he said it was nerve wracking waiting for the final tallies to come in.

"Once it finally came in, though, it was awesome," Hutton said. "Knowing that we came in above 450 teams and nearly 2,000 players felt really great. This is my favorite game of all time. It's cool to be a part of this kind of big thing."

Super League Gaming's third season begins April 30. Interested players can learn more or sign up at www.superleague.com.

410-857-7890

Twitter.com/Jacob_deNobel

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement