Collegiate Esports Travels into New Era

Collegiate Esports Travels into New Era

Collegiate esports teams participated in open tournaments during Illinois College’s LAN.

Coaches and students pose for a photo opp at the Purdue Northwest LAN.

Coaches and students pose for a photo opp at the Purdue Northwest LAN.

Players from the Illinois College esports team take the stage at the event hosted on campus in Jacksonville, IL.

Players from the Illinois College esports team take the stage at the event hosted on campus in Jacksonville, IL.

Unified’s traveling Midwest Esports Conference is preparing for its biggest season yet heading into the 2023-2024 School Year.

WICHITA, KANSAS, UNITED STATES, April 28, 2023/ — Unified is hosting their fifth season of the Midwest Esports Conference (MEC) this upcoming 2023-2024 school year, and it is set to be their biggest season yet. Traditionally, the Midwest Esports Conference has been a partnered League of Legends conference with the RSAA (Riot Scholastic Association of America) that has offered a live event experience for students to compete on stage, and a chance for both student athletes and community members to come out and play a multitude of game titles.

“It’s really cool to be able to see all these players and network with all of them. I know some players on every single team, everyone’s super friendly, it’s good competition you know, you get to play against really tough opponents but at the end of the day you can look at each other and give them a high five or a handshake, laugh at each other–it’s great.” said Tristan Fissette, a senior in Illinois College’s esports program.

During the spring 2023 season, the MEC hosted the following eight institutions:

• Briar Cliff University

• Drury University

• Grand View University

• Illinois College

• Ohio Northern University

• Ottawa University

• Purdue Northwest University

• University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Ottawa and Grand View both qualified for the Collegiate National Championship for League of Legends. After advancing in the first round, Ottawa will be playing this upcoming weekend against Fisher College in the Round of 16.

This season, Unified partnered with Audio Visual Design Group (AVDG) to power the conference’s live events and online broadcasts. “AVDG is thrilled to be sponsoring Unified’s esports tournament and to be a part of the growing esports community. Esports is an exciting and rapidly evolving industry, and we’re excited to be a part of its growth and success. This sponsorship allows us to showcase our commitment to innovation and technology, and to support a community of passionate gamers who share our values,” said Curtis Heath, Vice President, Business Solutions (AVDG).

For this upcoming school year, the conference is expanding to offer several additional titles beyond League of Legends. This will provide more opportunities for schools to be a part of the conference and give their students a taste of Midwest competition combined with Unified’s LAN opportunities.

This fall will feature two LAN tournaments hosted at campuses across the Midwest on September 16-17th and November 11-12th; venue locations will be announced in the coming weeks.

While this expansion provides a great opportunity for collegiate esports, it also serves as an opportunity for the youth esports athletes and gaming communities in each region. The LANs not only offer higher levels of competition but also cater to a general gaming audience with the Quest System Unified has implemented. “Quests” allow for gamers of all skill levels to come out with their friends and families to have a fun weekend playing video games while earning prizes, learning what esports has to offer, and spectating collegiate competition.

To learn more about the Midwest Esports Conference, visit Esports Coaches or Directors are invited to complete the 2023-2023 Interest Survey to find out if the conference is a good fit for their program.

Rebecca Rong
Unified Esports Association
+1 316-200-4859
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