Alex Oates is a sophomore exercise physiology major at WVU Potomac State College. He’s also a member of the College’s Esports program, who earned his seat on the Madden team as a fierce competitor and stand out in his sport having gone up against all Big 12 schools to win the Big 12 Conference in the Level Next Fall Champions Madden Series this year.
How was Oates able to parlay his gaming talent into monetary donations in the way of gift cards to the College’s Catamount Care Closet that collects food, toiletries and clothing for students as well as a donation to the Mineral County Food Bank?
In addition to being a full-time student and a member of the Esports team, Oates works part-time at the Martin’s grocery store in Keyser, W.Va., his hometown.
When Matt Lutcavage, vice president of Team Experience for The Giant Company, Martin’s parent company, learned of Oates winning the Level Next Big 12 Championship, he thought it would be fun to test his own gaming acumen against the champ. However, to make the competition more interesting, Lutcavage wagered if Oates beat him by 14 points or more, the company would donate $1,000 to the local food bank. Additionally, if Oates beat Lutcavage by 28 points or more, the company would donate another $1,000 to the College’s Catamount Care Closet.
Oates scored the first touchdown and sealed the donation to the local food bank with a second touchdown in the first quarter. He went on to score a third and fourth touchdown in the second quarter earning the donation to the College’s food bank. At one point, Oates jokingly asked Lutcavage if he had played Madden prior to this match-up, Lutcavage replied, “Based on how I’m playing, I’m feeling the safer answer is to tell you ‘no’… but I have played before… unfortunately,” garnering a laugh from both Oates and Lutcavage. The final score was 45-7.
At the conclusion of the game Lutcavage said, “We really are proud of you Alex and your accomplishments with Esports, particularly with Madden.
I wish you amazing success not only with your academic accomplishments and your time at work but also post work with physical therapy. It means a lot to us that you do what you do. We appreciate you.”
Oates replied, “I try to represent my town and store as best I can. Thank you for the very generous donation to the local and College food banks.”
Watch the recorded match-up on Twitter @PotomacState.
In addition to Madden, the College’s Esports program includes Call of Duty, Apex Legends, Fortnite, Valorant, and Rocket League teams. According to Esports Coach Joshua Steger, the program has opportunities for all gamers with competitive and non-competitive backgrounds. To learn more about the College’s Esports team, visit potomacstatecollege.edu.