Harrisburg, Pa., USA, (September 24, 2018) — Maryville University of St. Louis, MO took home top prize in Overwatch, while Columbia College, from Columbia, MO, was named League of Legends Champion late Saturday night. Both teams edged out host team, Harrisburg University in the final matches to take home $25,000 which will be put back into the esports programs.
Collegiate esports teams and players traveled to Harrisburg from across the country to compete in League of Legends and Overwatch competitions for a piece of the $50,000 prize pool during the inaugural Harrisburg University Esports Festival (HUE), Sept. 21-22. The event showcased the skills of leading collegiate esports players, many of whom have hopes of going pro.
“This weekend of competition was a great opportunity to showcase these athletes for their tremendous skill and officially introduce HU Storm to collegiate esports,” explained President Darr, of Harrisburg University. “Congratulations to the two very deserving teams.”
Maryville University and Columbia College went head to head against Harrisburg University in both the League of Legends and Overwatch competitions, respectively. Maryville edged out Harrisburg University 2-1 in Overwatch, while Columbia College went 2-0 against Harrisburg University in League of Legends.
All finalist teams are regarded as leaders in the collegiate esports world. Maryville has fielded competitive championship teams since 2015, while Columbia College also has the reputation as a pioneering esports program. Harrisburg University is the first university in Pennsylvania to join NACE and assemble a varsity esports team.
“Our team has been getting ready for this since they arrived on campus back in July,” said Chad Smeltz, HU Esports Program Director. “The excitement has been building in Harrisburg and in the esports community for weeks leading up to HUE and to see it all come together and watch these teams battle it out has been an awesome experience.”
With 32 teams from more than 20 colleges, the HUE Festival became the largest collegiate esports tournament to date. Spectators packed the 700 seat theater at the Whitaker Center, and Twitch viewership exceeded 5,000 during the live gameplay, showing collegiate esports has an active and quickly growing fanbase.
In addition to the Collegiate Invitational Esports Tournament, the two-day HUE Festival brought thousands to downtown Harrisburg for a free, live music concert experience, with headlining performances from Lit, Alien Ant Farm, and Atlas Genius. Vendors and food trucks also lined the streets of the city, attracting attendees from all ages and interests.
About HUE Festival
Harrisburg University Esports and Music Festival, presented by iHeart Radio and ALT 99.3 (HUE Festival) is Harrisburg’s first event to combine live music and esports. Located in downtown Harrisburg, this two-day festival will feature mainstream music acts and the largest esports tournament to date. For more information about HUE Festival, visit www.huefest.com.
“There was really something for the whole family,” explained Dr. Eric Darr, Harrisburg University President. “Combining esports and a music festival was a great opportunity for Harrisburg University and the whole Harrisburg community to showcase this city and this region for the wonderful destination that it is.”