UNCG Hosts Its First Collegiate Esports Tournament

Posted on November 30, 2022

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In the span of two weeks, UNCG fans have stormed the streets for basketball and celebrated big soccer wins in the NCAA tournament. Now our Spartan gamers are gearing up for their first collegiate esports tournament!

On Friday, December 2nd, UNC Greensboro’s Gaming and Esports Club will host the University’s first collegiate esports tournament in the UNCG Esports Arena and Learning Lab. Club members, in collaboration with Epic Games, have organized the Spartan Invitational featuring Fortnite, with gamers from NC State, UNC-Charlotte, High Point University, and UNCG coming to campus for competitive play.

Each team will be represented by four players who will battle in a double-elimination tournament. Players will vie for a $1,000 prize pool. Fans are encouraged to tune into the livestream to watch the matches beginning at 5:00 pm. 

The tournament livestream will feature shoutcasters Life With Panda, UNCG student Austin Holder, and the manager of UNCG Spartan Fortnite Team, Mohammed Khalafalla. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to give esports competitors a voice in something that we are all proud of and passionate about,” said Khalafalla. “This is another step in the right direction to show not only UNCG, but campuses across the country, that esports is a legitimate sport like any other. I feel privileged to be a part of it.” 

UNCG’s state-of-the-art esports arena, which opened in May of 2022, offers gamers 3,300 square feet of gaming consoles and high-definition monitors surrounded by blue and gold Spartan banners and lights. The new arena, centrally located on campus in Moran Commons, heightens the tournament’s competitive vibe and gives the home team serious bragging rights.

Although many universities have esports clubs, UNCG’s new esports arena enhances student life while also working in tandem with the University’s commitment to offering academic paths to careers in emerging industries. Currently, there are more than 175 million video gamers in the United States, with that number expected to hit 182.6 million by 2024. In 2021, 465.1 million people watched live-streamed gaming content, and that number is expected to reach 577.8M by 2024. UNCG offers a non-credit certificate program in esports and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management with a concentration in esports

Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications
Photography by Sean Norona

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