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(Left to right) Esports Coach Joshua Steger, Assistant Store Manager David Nabreau, Potomac State President Jennifer Orlikoff, Esports student Alex Oates, Store Manager Matt Hardman and Store Relief Manager Aaron Wertz in front of Martin’s grocery store in Keyser.

EYSER — Alex Oates is a sophomore exercise physiology major at Potomac State College. He’s also a member of the College’s Esports program, having earned his seat on the Madden team.

Oates is 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.

So, 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.

When Matt Lutcavage, vice president of team experience for Giant, 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 1st touchdown and sealed the donation to the local food bank with a 2nd TD in the 1st quarter. He went on to score the 3rd and 4th touchdowns in the 2nd 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 matchup,

“Based on how I’m playing, I’m feeling the safer answer is to tell you ‘no,’” Lutcavage replied, “but I have played before… unfortunately,” garnering a laugh from both Oates and Lutcavage. The final score was 45-7.

“We really are proud of you, Alex, and your accomplishments with Esports, particularly with Madden,” Lutcavage said at the conclusion of the game.

Oates said he tries to represent his town the best he can and thanked Martin’s for the 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. Esports Coach Joshua Steger said 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.

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