Houston Solidifies Itself As Esports Hub With New Collegiate Event
ESPN brings its inaugural Collegiate Esports Championship finals to Houston this weekend, with more than 100 student gamers from 20 colleges competing against each other in "popular video games like 'Overwatch' and 'Hearthstone' for scholarships," according to Brittany Britto of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The event is ESPN’s "first ever esports championship and students have been vying for a top spot" since February. The three-day event, part of Comicpalooza, will be "livestreamed and broadcast later on ESPN channels." Gaming enthusiasts are "paying particular attention to Houston." Locally based esports tournament software company Mainline CEO Chris Buckner said, “The city is getting behind (esports) 100 percent, and Houston universities are taking it very serious." ESPN VP/Events Clint Overby said that the city "became a natural site for ESPN." Buckner added that Texas, in particular, has "positioned itself in a really good place to embrace this growth." Texas state colleges have "taken a particular interest -- developing esports clubs and teams, major collegiate competitions, and top-ranked game design curriculum." In Texas alone, there are the overwatch Lague Houston Outlaws, Clutch Gaming -- which is owned by the NBA's Rockets -- and Next Level, a 7,000-square-foot esports bar and gaming club, "expected to open soon in Midtown" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/8).
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