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The Wichita eSports Convention 2019 Overview

Written by Colter Hawks 2/8/2019 Last weekend Midwest eSports put on the fifth annual Wichita eSports Convention Powered by Koch Industries, High Touch Technologies and NetApp. The event was held at the Wichita State University Experiential Engineering Building. The weekend was filled with tournaments, contests, panels and a community that grew closer through gaming. From the PC and Console Battlegrounds to our $20,000 League of Legends tournament, everyone could find a game they could compete in. Thank you to our sponsors who helped make WEC 2019 the best year yet with more than 900 attendees and more prizes than ever. The League of Legends tournament kicked off on Friday and went on through Sunday. The final four of the tournament came down to AZIO, Polar Ace, Super Nova and Bloody Gaming. Super Nova took out AZIO to secure their spot in the final while Bloody Gaming took out tournament favorites, Polar Ace, to join the final as well. AZIO and Polar Ace would duke it out to see who would claim third, but after a 3 game series, Polar Ace would take that spot in a 2-1 victory. Super Nova and Bloody Gaming took the main stage played a gripping best-of-five series. Super Nova took Blue Side off the block and would secure game one. The teams would switch sides after every game and games one through 4 had a 100% win rate for blue side. It came down to game five; Super Nova on their prefered blue side, and Bloody Gaming on the harder red side. It all came down to the draft. Bloody Gaming set themselves up for the later game while Super Nova went for the early rush. In the first twenty minutes, Super Nova looked great. It seemed they had Bloody Gaming on the ropes. But after thirty minutes of play, Bloody Gaming Made huge plays that would begin to catapult them ahead of the curve. Although Super Nova fought hard, it was one play from Bloody Gaming that spelled their doom. A crucial Thresh hook from LohPally would find Super Nova’s jungler and catch them out for a kill to Bloody Gaming, starting the rolling tide down the lane and ending the series and the tournament, with Bloody Gaming going home with the grand prize. The $5,000 Counter Strike: Global Offensive tournament Powered by N3rd Street Gamers was going to down at WEC2019 as well. The tournament was run by Midwest CS:GO, and took place Saturday and Sunday. The final came between RMU Esports and WashedUp. The best of three series ended with WashedUp taking 1st after a 2-1 victory. In the PC Battleground, gamers were allowed free play access to a variety of games that were available, but the PC Battleground also offered the Fortnite Challenge. Fortnite is always a big hit at Midwest eSports events, and with the Fortnite Challenge, you can have a great time playing the game and have a chance to win cool prizes. PC Battlegrounds also featured tournaments for Rocket League, Overwatch and Hearthstone. Over in the Console Battleground area, Midwest eSports held its first Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournament. As always, you can expect a great turnout for Smash Bros. and Ultimate is no different. There were 47 players signed up for the tournament, practically taking over the entire console room. Console Battlegrounds also featured free-play and tournaments for Halo, Tekken, Soul Calibur, Dragonball Fighter Z and Street Fighter V. If you ever wanted to play Beat Saber, WEC2019 is where you wanted to be. Our Virtual Reality room had two systems set up to play Beat Saber all weekend. Nova Star Gaming also brought an Omni rig that they strapped you up in. You put on special shoes that allow you to physically walk to move your character in-game. This device was featured at the High Touch Technologies booth. What’s great to see at all Midwest eSports events is the growing comradery between everyone who attends. Whether it’s to compete, have fun or learn more about the world of esports, everyone there is talking about a common interest and new relationships are formed. I would see gamers who are in college play games with random kids, and parents who encouraged their children when competing. I personally spent a lot of my time at WEC2019 talking to people; learning about what got them into video games and also to those who knew very little about video game culture and wanted to learn more. We also had panelists who were answering questions of the same variety and offering information on how to grow esports clubs in high schools. What was great with those people, was they were excited and almost giddy about this entire phenomenon that is esports. That’s how esports started; that’s how many companies in this industry, including Midwest eSports, got started. A common love for video games and what they have to offer. Thank you everyone who came out to the convention and supported us. We hope to see you all again next year!