By Kai Blair, Staff Reporter
McDonalds and Gen G, a non-profit esports organization, launched an online conference where metropolitan Washington, D.C. HBCU students competed in video game tournaments and engaged in live panels with professional esports athletes.
The partnership aims to expand the opportunity gap between the gaming and esports industry. Cxmunity, an esports organization whose mission is to increase minorities’ participation in gaming, helped organize the event and bring the athletes together.
African American leaders within the esports industry hosted live Rocket League and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate tournaments filled with minority esports players during the conference held on Nov. 12 and 13. Tournament winners walked away with cash prizes and bragging rights for their respective schools.
The event also included keynote speakers sharing tips on broadcast production, creating software, and digital designing. Anthony Moorman, a commentator and former professional esports gamer, spoke about the importance of Fortune 500 companies supporting minorities and gaming.
“A Fortune 500 company putting the limelight on an event like this for minorities is huge. It’s kind of letting minorities know they aren’t stuck in certain fields,” Moorman said.
Through the conference, HBCU students in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area met others with a similar passion for esports. Ahmad Whitaker, Rocket League Captain of Howard University’s Esports team, talked about how special and competitive it was playing with other HBCU students.
“Playing with other HBCU students was amazing. Even when a team was winning, there was a certain amount of respect in the game even if there was a huge disparity in skill level. It was still very fun to play,” Whitaker said.
“We made it to the finals and ended up losing to our rivals: Morgan State. They just outplayed us,” he added.
Copy edited by Ashleigh Fields