If you think video games are just a hobby, HV Gamer Con could change your mind. The tournament this weekend at Albany Capital Center is still in its infancy but has grown substantially since last year's event. 

"For college students like me, it offers a competitive aspect to playing at school. It also offers a lot of skills, so you can go into software engineering and start making the games," said Christian Isolda, team captain for Marist College's 'League of Legends' team. "You can go into the production value as in broadcasting. It opens up a lot of avenues. It also gives a lot of avenues to a professional career."

This is because gaming is actually a competitive sport called "esports," and it's growing every day.

"Last year we did this event and there were only four colleges, and it was an exploratory panel and expo to see where this was gonna go. Now here we are one year later and it's up to 20 colleges competing," said Doug McClaine, general manager of Albany Capital Center. "And the colleges have added gaming programs for student engagement, majors for employees for the gaming hubs."

This year's event also has two new games. Previously, teams competed in League of Legends and this year Overwatch and Fortnite were added to the mix, which means there are three championships instead of one. 

"I think this is a great opportunity for students in general to compete on a more professional level, rather than recreational, of gaming," said James O'Brien of UAlbany's Esports team. "Because we play video games regularly anyways, so this is a really cool opportunity for us to interact with people in different industries within the gaming realm."

"You can come here, see how the teams are interacting, see what they are doing, and what they are achieving," McClaine said. "And then, being able to talk to the schools that are here about college admissions and their programs, I think it helps. It's a great learning experience in addition to a fun time."

Several schools have booths set up at the event to showcase their esports teams and majors related to it. Panels are offered throughout the weekend with industry experts because esports are on the rise. 

"I hope it becomes a professional league throughout the colleges. I hope people that play games now, in the future, can go to college on scholarships and can play in these professional settings," said Austin Portney of the UAlbany Esports team.

HV Gamer Con is at Albany Capital Center Saturday, March 30 through Sunday, March 31. You can find tickets and more information about the event here.