UNC Greensboro is committed to combining engaging student life with academic paths to emerging industries. Our state-of-the-art esports arena is a hub where these endeavors intersect in a powerful way – especially during E2 Weekend!
On February 3 – 4, UNC Greensboro (UNCG) in collaboration with Epic Games, will hold its second E2 Weekend. During E2 Weekend, students and educators are invited to UNCG’s Esports Arena and Learning Lab for two days of esports education and tournament competition. The event includes a tournament featuring Rocket League for North Carolina high school and college students; and hands-on training sessions for educators featuring Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.
Get Your Game On
For students, the highlight of E2 Weekend is Spartan Clash featuring Rocket League. The tournament, where teams of two battle in the popular game that fuses soccer strategy with demolition derby mayhem, is open to North Carolina high school and college students. Online qualifying matches will take place on January 28 with the 16 top teams advancing to the finals at UNCG’s Esports Arena on February 4th. Registration for the tournament will be open through January 20.
Spartan Clash gives UNCG’s Gaming and Esports Club members an opportunity to compete and learn more about tournament production. “Collaborating with Epic Games provides UNCG students with exceptional hands-on experiences,” explains Debbie Storrs, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at UNCG. “E2 Weekend allows students in all of our academic programs to gain real-world tournament production experience and provides a chance for educators, high school, and collegiate players to come to our campus to learn and compete in our cutting-edge esports facility. It’s a win-win for all.”
Level up with Education
At UNCG, esports is more than just an activity enjoyed by students taking a break from studies. In a country where video game viewership is second only to NFL and a billion dollars a year is generated globally from esports, UNCG is harnessing students’ passion for video games and turning it into a viable career path. The university offers a non-credit certificate program in esports and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a concentration in esports, but events like the upcoming E2 Weekend extend esports education beyond the student body.
On Friday, February 3, E2 will provide a full-day, hands-on training seminar featuring Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to SparkNC STEM educators. SparkNC is a network of 18 North Carolina school districts that are working to enhance pathways to high-tech employment. STEM educators are perfect candidates for Epic Games’ Unreal Engine Accelerator Experience.
The Epic Games’ Unreal Engine is the program that allows gamers to explore environments, build, and create in popular games like Fortnite, but the program has applications beyond video gaming. Creators in various industries use the Unreal Engine to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences and immersive virtual worlds. For educators, it’s a 3D tool with classroom applications that engages students with a medium they already love.
In addition, a half-day training session on Saturday, February 4, will be exclusively offered to faculty and staff in UNCG’s media studies department. This seminar will explore production and broadcast applications of 3D technology. The applications of 3D interactive are countless and all of the training at E2 Weekend is free to invited participants.
For Epic Game’s Education Program Manager, Steve Isaacs, sharing free training with educators benefits all parties involved. “Student agency increases when students are presented with meaningful and relevant activities to encourage creativity, problem solving and computational thinking. Unreal Engine and Fortnite Creative engage students with opportunities to learn industry standard skills and tools that are in high demand in the workforce. We are thrilled to be working with UNCG and SparkNC to bring secondary educators together for professional development to adopt these tools in their classrooms.”
For more information about the E2 Weekend at UNCG on February 3 – 4, or general info about UNCG’s Esports programs and new arena, go to esports.uncg.edu.
Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications.
Photography by Sean Norona.