esports (copy)

Before I dive in to the real story for today, the massive underdog FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) rose from the ashes of their group play to dominate the League of Legends World Championships.

For those that don’t follow esports that closely, FPX winning Worlds against G2 in Paris is like if Minnesota goes on to win the Big 10 and ends up in the National Championship game this year against LSU, in New Orleans. Congrats to the champs.

But the real story I want to talk about today is about a different kind of champion and a different kind of hero. Her name is Victoria Enmon, and her story is available here. At a young age Victoria’s story kicked off what became a program that has gone on to help thousands of children around the US and raised more than $50 million since 2008.

Victoria fought a lengthy battle with cancer which eventually took her life at a young age. During her battle with cancer, gamers began sending her so many games to play while in the hospital that she decided to share them with all the children she met. After losing her fight with cancer, Victoria’s spirit and inspiration spawned a program known as Extra Life.

Extra Life today is about gamers, streamers and content creators spending time throughout the year raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network. CMN is the primary philanthropic arm of children’s hospitals around the country, hospitals like Knoxville’s own East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Through the Extra Life program, gamers are able to join various teams and raise money by hosting gaming events online and offline. The primary method gamers raise money is by doing marathon charity streams. Though not required, it is one of the more fun and interesting ways to raise money for Extra Life.

You can go at it solo like Walter “MFPallytime” Hopkins, who raised $72,000 for Orlando Children’s Hospital on Nov. 9, or join a team and play with friends like Rooster Teeth, who raised $1.2 million this past weekend, or how the Magic the Gathering team has raised $650 thousand so far this year.

Of course, these are examples of much larger corporations taking part in a fun charity for everyone. Knoxville has a guild which gathers once a month at Token Game Tavern to share ideas and plan events. The UTK Esports Club also has a team set up right now which anyone can join. You simply sign up on the website, join our team during the registration process and pick your hometown children’s hospital to start raising money.

You can also take part in the second annual Extra Life game day which will be hosted in the Student Union on Nov. 24 from 11 a.m.— 10 p.m. Game day is an opportunity to meet other gamers and raise money for ETCH. You can bring your own PC, console or your favorite board game and play games, win prizes and help sick children. The union is providing internet and power so that anyone who wants to can stream their gameplay and take their first crack at marathon gaming for a good cause.

If you want to go it alone, you can do that too. Some advice for anyone that wants to dive right in to streaming for 24 hours: 1) Drink lots of water. 2) Take breaks. You don’t have to go hard for all 24 hours; if you need a break to eat or nap, take a break. 3) You don’t have to stream for 24 hours. Stream what you can, and most importantly have fun.

Extra Life is a way for gamers to give back to their communities and help sick children. Reach out if you have any questions, and Good Luck Heroes.

UTK Esports is a student organization at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, interested in competing in and promoting collegiate and professional esports. If you have questions or would like to join and compete, please reach out to us atesports@utk.edu, or follow us on Twitter @utkesports.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

UT Sponsored Content