SIUE Esports and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions have teamed up for the upcoming Esports Exhibition, where incoming college freshmen interested in SIUE can watch exhibition matches and ask questions about esports and SIUE.
There will be two sessions of the event held at 5 pm to 6 pm, and 6 pm to 7 pm, streaming on Twitch on Nov. 13. The matches are being played by the Overwatch and Super Smash Bros teams, and they will be playing their respective games in the first session, along with Valorant and Rocket League in the second session.
Chicago Regional Admission Coordinator Stephen Wilke said the event will be a good opportunity to get incoming college freshman gamers interested in SIUE.
“We’re bringing the demographic at SIUE that plays video games competitively, or for fun, as well as bringing students from high schools in the area that also play video games, and we’re sort of letting them meet each other and ask the questions that they have,” Wilke said.
While in-person tours are still being held on campus, they aren’t running at the rate they used to before the pandemic, according to Wilke. This event is one of many virtual events Admissions is holding this semester to get incoming college freshmen interested in SIUE.
The list includes a Housing virtual presentation being held on Nov. 17 and throughout December, various virtual academic sessions for the different schools, and even a Virtual Transfer Orientation on Dec. 4 for incoming transfer students.
Wilke said these and other virtual events aren’t replacements for in-person tours.
“I don’t think it’s a replacement [for in-person tours] so much as it is us working around the situation that’s going on right now, and trying to find ways to get students where they want to be … SIUE’s campus is awesome, and it’s a real selling point for people who visit. Nothing is going to be able to replace taking a tour around campus,” Wilke said
Senior chemistry major Timothy Cockrell, of St. Libory, Illinois, is the Vice President of SIUE Esports. He said showing off the Esports Teams is a good strategy to bring in new students.
“The esports genre itself is rapidly expanding … A lot of kids nowadays grow up with esports. They grow up with video games. They grow up seeing the competitive side of it, and they want to push themselves harder and faster and higher,” Cockrell said.
Senior psychology major David Sissac, of St. Louis, is the President of SIUE Esports. He said an event like this had been in talks for a while.
“The virtual visitation sessions were a way where admissions and the esports program could collaborate on an event, which was something we had been discussing for years past. Under COVID, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to make that collaboration come to light,” Sissac said.
According to Cockrell, Admissions was receptive to this idea and its ability to abide by COVID-19 restrictions. He also said this event will be a good opportunity for the Esports Club.
“Until now, our biggest blast out into the world was the grand opening of our arena. That brought so, so many eyes, and they looked, and they liked what they saw. The problem then was COVID happened – progress was stopped … This is our opportunity to regain that momentum,” Cockrell said.