Southern Lab student overcomes challenges of pandemic to win national title

Savvy Southerner

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — The popularity of electronic gaming has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, as the rest of the sports world came to a grinding halt.

Southern University Lab student Llewyn “Troy” Murphy Jr. was a talented gamer before the health crisis, however the stay-at-home order provided Murphy with more opportunity to practice. Once finished with his schoolwork, Murphy said he worked on his game up to eight hours each day.

Murphy also entered his first national competition where he placed first in his bracket, ultimately pocketing $1,000 in scholarship money.

Southern Lab e-sports coach and director Chris Turner recruited Murphy after seeing him play in a tournament as an 8th grader. “Troy is a just a special kid,” said Turner. “He has this humble spirit about him. He’s real respectful, but I didn’t know his IQ was where it was when we first met.”

Murphy made an immediate impact on the newly formed high school team. On June 6, Murphy placed first in the NBA 2k20 Playstation bracket in the High School Esports League national competition with a perfect record of 11-0.

Turner, a gamer himself, was able to use his personal network to help Murphy prepare for competition. “I have some friends that are in the NBA 2k league,” said Turner. “They play 2k professionally for the teams in the NBA and we were able to bring in some of those guys to give him some pointers.”

Outside of holding a national title, Murphy is a 4.0 student with aspirations to study engineering in his post-secondary education. He said he already has a game plan to accomplish that dream telling BR Proud reporter Kelly Anne Beile, “I think I can make enough money to not really have to pay anything for college.”

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