On Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, WMU Esports hosted their first Overwatch Collegiate Community Invitational in WMU's very own state-of-the-art esports arena. At this event, eight colleges, WMU, Ferris State, Trine University, Sienna Heights, Ohio State University, Davenport University, Central University, and Aquinas competed for a chance at a total of $3,000 in winnings, with a first-place prize of $1,500.
The grand finals were between Ferris State and the WMU Cavalry. Tensions were high as the crowd started chanting the two school names back and forth. Ultimately the team taking 1st place was WMU Calvary, in an impressive 3-0 match in the best of five series.
The name of the event gives hints as to why and how this event came to be. Community is a big part of the competitive gaming scene. On the virtual battlefield, teams are rivals, but afterward, everyone has a chance to talk, improve, and enjoy each other's company. The WMU Esports Arena gives gamers from all over an opportunity to compete in person rather than digitally. WMU hopes this to be the first of many more collegiate community esports events to follow.
The WMU Esports staff is made up of members of various departments on campus. The tournament was organized by Andre Rattray, who is the assistant director of Club Sports/Esports for University Recreation. Mike Berdowski, assistant director of Intramural Sports for University Recreation, Tavian Napier, esports coordinator, Scott Puckett, senior director of Business and Finance Information Technology, and Michael Sisk, assistant director of Business and Finance Information Technology were also a huge part of putting this event together.
WMU Esports would like to thank all seven schools that drove out to Kalamazoo for this event.