Preparation for eSports tournament and future programming

Zachary Blanner

Project Director Tim Pagliari and Human Studies professor Steven Toepfer are feeling confident not only about Kent State’s first eSports tournament, but the future the program at Kent.

The tournament will take place May 5 in the M.A.C. Center from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We have a huge amount of support for the tournament growing online, it kind of started slow with people signing up to participate, but it’s starting to shape up, now we have teams signing up every day,” Pagliari said.

The tournament will have a main stage with a deck of 12 computers. The main stage will primarily be used for the Overwatch tournament but depending on how fast the tournament goes it will be open to other organizations and games like League of Legends.

Kent State has allocated a total of $6,000 in scholarship money for the winners of the Overwatch tournament. The awards will be divided by player: The first-place team will receive $500 per player; second place will receive $400 and third place will receive $100.   

The primary sponsors that provided the scholarship money for the Overwatch tournament are the College of Communication and Information and University Libraries.

They have also helped to fund the entire event providing monetary support, program addict support and advocating for the program.    

Multiple other tournaments and student organizations will be attending and hosting small side tournaments or have booths promoting their organizations.

Some students from the Salem eSports team will be hosting a Hearthstone tournament that will have a $200, $100 and $50 Visa gift card prize for the top three winners.

The Super Smash Brothers club is bringing in some of the members from branch campuses to host a tournament which will have a $50 prize for the winner.

Unlike the Overwatch tournament, the Hearthstone and Super Smash Brothers tournaments will have an entrance fee; $10 for Hearthstone and $5 for Super Smash Brothers.  

Pagliari encourages any other students or student organizations that are interested in organizing a tournament for a new game or getting a booth for their club to reach out through [email protected] to join the Discord.

“We would love to support any student that wants to have a tournament for a game that is not included so far. If they need space, equipment, promotions or connections I think that’s a big part of what we can do to help out,” Pagliari said.  

Looking beyond the tournament Saturday, there is currently $20,000 in scholarship money that will be available during the 2018 fall semester. Pagliari did not disclose how the money would be distributed throughout the program. 

“After we catch our breath, after the semester and tournament, we’ll be focusing on a number of things. Foremost are the varsity teams at Kent and the regionals,” Toepfer said. “We’ve started signing high school students at Salem. Lots more of that to follow. Then practices and seasons. Team building.”

Tryouts for these different teams will be held sometime in the summer and are still in the process of being figured out. More information about them will be available through the website, discord and social media.

For those interested in seeing the tournament but cannot make it, it will be broadcasted on Twitch through esportskentstate.

More information about the eSports program and future updates can be found at the Kent State eSports website and social media.

Zachary Blanner is a tech reporter. Contact him at [email protected].