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Columbia College is set to host the first annual Midwest Campus Clash and Gaming Expo next month, bringing together the top collegiate eSports teams from across the country. The Cougars have been competing for the past 5 months, their first season in the Collegiate Star League.
“These competitions are something that the players can do on-campus. They don’t have to travel to compete against other schools,” says Bryan Curtis, director of eSports at Columbia College. “We were looking for a way to bring colleges to Columbia to compete in a live spectator environment, and that’s why we’re excited to host the Midwest Campus Clash.”
The competition is the end of a month-long elimination tournament in League of Legends, one of the games collegiate eSports teams play. The finals will consist of the top eight teams battling for the first-place prize of $15,000. The team that comes in second will receive $5,000, and both third and fourth place teams will each collect $2,500. Games start at 10 a.m. on April 8 and will be announced by professional Shoutcasters, as commentators are known in LoL, on site in the arena.
The event will also host the finals of the Collegiate Star League’s Madden NFL Championship Series. After competing in elimination play for the past 2 months, the top teams from across the country will face off in Columbia and have a shot at $10,000 in prize money. The top four teams in both the Xbox One and PS4 groups will be flown into Columbia to compete.
Participants can expect an expo area with food trucks, exhibitor booths for the latest gear, and various gaming experiences for attendees of all ages. “There will really be something for everyone,” says Curtis. “Whether you want to watch the competition or play yourself, there will definitely be opportunities to do that during the event.” Activities include a Forza Motorsport competition on PS4, expert advice from professional eSports players, a chance to try out Oculus Rift VR, and a game of Absurdly Giant Pong (you know, like the Atari game, but giant).
“We want to provide the ultimate gaming showcase in the Midwest and beyond for everyone who attends this event,” says Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple. “The Midwest Campus Clash is designed to not only focus on eSports, but also provide a look at some of the cutting-edge gaming technology that is coming in the future.”
The tournament and expo will take place on campus in the Southwell Gym on April 8. For more information and full details on the event, visit www.midwestcampusclash.com.