MAYHEW — East Mississippi Community College will boot-up its entry into the world of collegiate electronic sports, or eSports, Friday, Sept. 15, from 6 p.m. to midnight in the Lyceum Auditorium on the Golden Triangle campus.
The college is hosting a Local Area Network, or LAN party, that is open to the public and will include a competition to determine who will comprise the inaugural EMCC eSports Team. Members will compete against student gamers across the U.S.
“For now, we will be competing mainly against university teams,” EMCC LAN instructor Brandon Sesser said. “There are only a handful of community colleges across the U.S. that have eSports teams. What I want to do is create the first collegiate eSports team in the South.”
EMCC students from all campuses are encouraged to compete for the eight spots on the team. The students must have a 2.5 GPA or better and cannot be on academic probation. There is no cost to students trying out for the eSports team.
There will be plenty of activities for the general public as well, including a gaming competition with a $25 gift card for first and second place winners. Contestants will start out on an older Nintendo game, such as Mario Kart, with winners moving on to PC games, such as Team Fortress. The final rounds will be played on one of the newer consoles, such as Xbox or PlayStation. There is a $5 entry fee for competitors.
There will be plenty of gaming available at no cost for those who don’t want to compete for prizes. Tabletop games and card games will be available as well.
“We will have all the games set up and people can play whatever they like,” Sesser said. “This is a great family event. We want everyone to come out and have fun.”
There is a $5 admission fee, with food and drinks available for $5.
A growing number of universities across the country are fielding eSports teams, with some providing scholarships to promising prospects. The University of California recently opened an eSports arena, a state-of-the art facility equipped with high-end gaming PCs and a live webcasting studio.
The universities host gaming competitions in which other teams can compete in person at the event or online. Sesser said EMCC will host gaming events as well.
“EMCC is at the forefront of collegiate eSports,” Sesser said. “This is a growing trend that will only get bigger and I am excited about the possibilities this will offer to our students.”
For more information, contact Sesser by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (662) 312-8114.