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WSSU to host first esports competitive event Aug. 30

Winston-Salem State University will host its first esports competitive event this month to further expose students to the growing gaming industry.

WSSU Campus Clash will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, at the University Recreation Game Room and Salon on campus. Players will compete in NBA 2K and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 as they vie for the top prize of $500, divided evenly among two winners.

Rennae Stowe, WSSU’s associate professor and program coordinator of sport management, is helping to organize the tournament that she hopes will attract up to 100 participants.

The event is a collaboration between the health, physical education and sport studies department, University Recreation, and Student Activities and Engagement, who have partnered with Cxmmunity, a nonprofit based in Atlanta, whose mission is to increase the representation of minorities in esports and gaming.

Cxmmunity hosts a series of events called HBCU Esports to help historic black colleges and universities (HBCUs) engage its students in esports.

According to Cxmmunity, 83 percent of minority teens as opposed to 71 percent European and white teens play video games yet only 14 percent of video games comprise African American and Latinx creators as opposed to 68 percent European and white.

Stowe said the sport management program started an esports club last spring. “We will use this event to recruit more students to the club since it’s fairly new.”

WSSU intends to offer a minor or concentration in esports in the near future, she said.

Esports in higher education is a growing trend that offers millions of scholarship dollars. “It’s not just about the gaming aspect but is also tiered with academic programs and the STEM curriculum,” Stowe said.

“I am excited for the different opportunities this will bring for our students,” she said.

The event is open to WSSU students., who can scan the QR code on the event flier to register. There is no fee to participate.

Faculty and staff members are encouraged to support this first-time esports event.

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