Lake City convention continues city’s investment in esports

FLORENCE, S.C. — Over the past two years, Lake City has begun investing in competitive video gaming, or esports, as one of many efforts to keep young people away from crime.

Friday and Saturday marked the city’s most visible investment in the program yet: a convention highlighting video gaming and other types of pop-culture entertainment. The Anime, Gaming and Entertainment Convention, shortened to A.G.E. Con, saw young children, teenagers and adults alike show up to play video games, shop at booths and listen to talks from industry professionals.

“A lot of times, the kids can’t even leave Lake City,” said Savon Whitehead, esports and events coordinator. “People should go to conventions because they’re a great learning experience. You meet new people. You build friendships. It’s just an overall great time, so why not bring it to them?”

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The convention was held at the R.O.B. in Lake City, and tickets started at $20 for daily general admission, with kids 12 and under getting in free.

Booths selling old video games, trading cards and anime merchandise, along with tables holding powerful desktop computers and video game consoles, formed aisles throughout the R.O.B.


Tiffany Grant, the voice actor best known for playing Asuka in the English dub of the anime “Evangelion,” spoke at A.G.E. Con on Friday about her experiences in voice acting.

In the back, a stage was set up for a number of different industry professionals who came to speak about their experiences and take questions from the audience. One such professional was Tiffany Grant, the voice actor best known for playing Asuka in the English dub of the anime Evangelion.

In the front, attendees with virtual reality headsets and controllers jumped around, lost in their virtual world. Nearby, people cosplaying as

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Recruiting roundup: Harris continues strong season | Sports

News-Gazette contributor Gavin Good checks in on how the Illini’s current signees and targets are faring on the court this winter:

Class of 2022


➜ SENCIRE HARRIS, a 6-foot-3 shooting guard from St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio), and the Fighting Irish (4-2) had to cancel its game against Lima on Dec. 19 and rescheduled the conference-opener against Cleveland St. Ignatius due to COVID-19. Harris resumed competition in style on Dec. 28, dropping 30 points in a 72-56 win at Richmond Heights. On Sunday night, the Fighting Irish dealt Lincoln (Ohio) its first loss of the season with a 70-69 victory. Harris helped lead a second-half comeback, nailing a pull-up three-pointer and tying the game with a steal and a traditional three-point play. The Fighting Irish are scheduled to host South Oak Cliff (Texas) at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

➜ JAYDEN EPPS, a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Combine Academy (N.C.), and the Goats (11-3) opened up the John Wall Holiday Tournament on Dec. 28 with a 69-56 victory over Virginia Episcopal as Epps scored 14 points and tallied five rebounds and two assists. Combine Academy dropped its opener at the Hoop Cities Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., 83-79 to Word of God Christian Academy (N.C.) last Friday, but Epps scored 12 points and had five rebounds and three assists in a 74-59 win over Virginia Academy this past Saturday. The Goats are scheduled to play Woodson (Va.) on Thursday night.

➜ TY RODGERS, a 6-foot-7 small forward from Thornton, and the Wildcats (7-4) knocked off Chicago Vocational 70-61 on Dec. 27 in the opening round of the Big Dipper Tournament. Rodgers scored 13 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists in the victory. The Wildcats earned a 69-57 win over Thornton Fractional South on Dec. 28 in the Big

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