Hillsdale alumna Katie Frates and Fox News pro­ducer
Griff Jenkins. | Twitter


When Katie Frates was a student at Hillsdale, she was known for sneaking off from parties to play video games. Now, she’s known for The Daily Walk­through, an esports and video game newsletter.

“I’ve been a nerd my whole life,” Frates said. “I have loved video games forever.”

The Daily Walk­through is a morning newsletter that pub­lishes Monday through Friday detailing the current events in the gaming industry, league updates, and other announce­ments. Frates said she is cur­rently the only writer of the newsletter.

But this wasn’t Frates’ original path. She grad­uated in 2014 as a finance major.

“My summer into my senior year, I had an early mid-life crisis,” Frates said.

Frates ended up interning at the The Daily Caller as part of the National Jour­nalism Center program. She was even­tually hired on as an editor and then began working as part of The Daily Caller News Foun­dation. She cur­rently works at Olympic Media as a man­aging editor and is now the editor-in-chief at The Daily Walk­through.

While at school, Frates was involved in Kappa Kappa Gamma and cheer­leading. Her advisor, Pro­fessor of Law Robert Black­stock, called Frates a “lively and engaged student.”

“Her interests ranged far and wide, and she had the intellect to follow those interests and make them bear fruit,” Black­stock said in an email. “Katie was game to embrace ideas, history, various ethical tra­di­tions, and chase the con­ver­sation wherever it wanted to go.”

Frates credits Hillsdale with instilling her with what she calls “a vast well of knowledge” that she said gives her a dif­ferent per­spective than her Wash­ington, D.C. coun­ter­parts.

“There’s a clas­sical feel at Hillsdale that has fol­lowed me and will con­tinue to follow me,” Frates said.

But she has always loved video games.

“Much to my sorority sisters’ chagrin, I did not do a very good job at hiding my video gaming,” she said.

Frates said that The Daily Walk­through fills a niche gap in the e‑sports industry, by pro­viding a newsletter with “no favoritism.” Unlike newsletters from spe­cific pub­li­ca­tions, The Daily Walk­through pull from a variety of sources. She said she’s been pleased with it’s success so far.

Frates said she’s been pleased with the newsletter’s success so far.

“It’s been a wild ride,” Frates said. “It’s been far more suc­cessful than I thought it would be.”

Esports, or “elec­tronic sports” is a quickly-growing industry cen­tered around playing video games com­pet­i­tively or pro­fes­sionally. Gamers attend tour­na­ments with cash prizes, play on teams, or “stream” their gaming live on plat­forms like Twitch.

And it’s got some serious cash. The global Esports Economy should reach $905.6 million, according to Newzoo. This is a year-on-year growth of 38 percent.

“This is absolutely an inter­na­tional movement that is not going away,” Frates said.

Senior Josh Hoover started streaming on Twitch last school year and began streaming pro­fes­sionally over the summer.

“I started streaming so my dad could watch,” Hoover said. His dad would nor­mally watch Hoover and his brother play video games, but couldn’t anymore once he and his brothers had left for college.

Hoover said that the idea of working in esports needs to be main­stream.

“I think Fortnite did a good job of that,” he said. “It’s normal now to see someone working in esports.”

Fortnite and other main­stream games have made epsorts familiar to kids, Frates said. In some ways, esports has replaced normal sports.

“This is their passion; this is their hobby,” Frates said. “This is what they’re going to engage with.”