Who Are We?
The OU Esports Club is an officially licensed student organization aimed at being the home for gamers at The University of Oklahoma. We are focused on student engagement through diverse programming for both casual and serious gamers alike. We develop programming and opportunity that caters to students, alumni, as well as our regional community as a whole. We looked at the landscape of the gaming, esports, and higher education industries to innovate the scope of our development.
What is Esports?
Esports represents a segment of the gaming industry fixated on professional levels of competitive video game play aimed at entertaining viewership, promoting rivalry, and elevating production. Take the Super Bowl and replace the physical contact sport with two teams of gamers playing Madden on an Xbox, but leave everything else the same. That means leave the production standards, the marketing, the advertising, the performances, the analytics, etc. the same.
What is OU Giving Day?
OU Giving Day is an annual university-wide fundraising event that lasts ONE DAY to inspire students, alumni and friends to make a gift to the areas on campus that are meaningful to them. For ONE DAY we encourage you, Sooner Nation, to come together as a community and show your support.
Why Support Us?
When we started development three years ago we wanted to be a source of innovation, inspiration, and pride for the University of Oklahoma and the region. We have innovated everything from building infrastructure to programming with minimal resources. For instance, we have only consumed $2.2K of preexisting OU funding for all three of those years, leveraging partnerships and collaborations as a standard of operations for strategic mutual benefit. We have grown student leadership that is independent and objective-oriented in preparation for their time after graduation. Through our community, we have created a network of education and support that has started to combat some of the stereotypes often associated with gamers as a whole to tell everyone this is way more than just playing games.
We have inspired students to rise to the occasion and to take ownership of this development through engaging in community activity or joining the ranks of our various programs that we have developed. We have been involved with mentoring other schools that are researching and exploring this same topic across Oklahoma and the nation. When we started in 2016 there were less than 30 documented universities across the US and Canada, regardless of size, that were developing programs. In 2019, there are over 140 now openly developing. In the state of Oklahoma specifically, there was only one other school when we started and now there is over six. We are the first university ever to produce a TEDx talk discussing the opportunities collegiate esports development presents to the current global higher education landscape and their communities.
We set out to create something OU and the supporters of our university would be extremely proud of. From creating programming for current students, alumni, and the region around us, to growing exciting opportunities for exemplary students, we are creating future professionals who will be influencers in the esports industry. Our organization represents an aggressive yet humble approach to building a community-centric grassroots development that now has stability in programming with almost two years of documented successes in each of our six branches. We have pioneered how to structure our organization for sustainment without the need for much university support. At the beginning of this journey, one of our key objectives was to develop without drawing much attention until we were ready for unveiling.
Your contribution makes a statement that you value the future evolution of academic curriculum opportunities that are relevant to a constantly evolving world. While many view our topic as only playing video games, major household brands like Nike, Adidas, ESPN, TBS, and more are now hiring professionals to help push esports into the mainstream. Supporting this organization allows us to advance our agenda past the proof of concept phases into a full weight-bearing development within the walls of OU. It allows us to compete, to continuously evolve our development, and to maintain our progressive agenda that will make OU a continued flagship university in the esports world for our region. Support the continued evolution of The University of Oklahoma Esports Club, the first officially licensed esports development in the Big 12!
- SCHOOL YEAR 2016-2017
- Research began in Fall
- Feeler event to gauge interest in Spring
- SCHOOL YEAR 2017-2018
- Interest based org founded
- 7 Initial leadership appointed
- Org opened to entire OU student population
- Community department launched in Fall
- Intercollegiate competition/Media & News/Shoutcasting/Streaming Entertainment launched in the Spring
- Partnered with League of Legends tournament organizer, GetRECt, for shoutcasting development
- Partnered with fighting game community tournament, HXC Gaming, for console programming
- END OF YEAR
- 272 students in organization
- 85 students in extracurricular programming
- 11 teams competed regionally and nationally
- 20+ articles written
- 150+ games shoutcasted
- 150+ hours streamed
- 50+ hours of community service
- 20+ events
- SCHOOL YEAR 2018-2019
- START OF YEAR – Back to school weekend programming drew out more than 200 students (READ HERE)
- Overwatch team placed 2nd at OP Live (READ HERE) (READ HERE #2)
- Teams in League of Legends, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Rocket League, Smash competed online in national tournaments as well as physically in regional tournaments
- Esports Association @ OU hosted OSU for inaugural Bedlam competition. (READ HERE) (READ HERE #2)
- Esports Association @ OU gained university licensing. Rebranded to OU Esports Club. FIRST IN THE BIG 12!!
- Provided production services for first ever Oklahoma K-12 esports exhibition in Tulsa (VIDEO)
- Student driven evolution of our preexisting 4 page org constitution into 120 page operations manual
- END OF YEAR
- 575 students in organization
- 140 students in extracurricular programming
- 8 teams competed regionally and nationally
- 60+ articles written
- 500+ games shoutcasted
- 320+ hours streamed
- 200+ hours of community service
- 55+ events
Current Initiatives and Objectives
- Provide further support for K-12 programming in the state
- Develop additional regional and student engagement opportunities through event planning and program development
- Advocate initiatives though OU networks including alumni and university supporters
- Raise funds to further advance all programs of organization
- Dedicated lab space for all programming
- Internships for leadership roles
- Scholarships for:
OU XP Documentary on Our Developments
More About Our Programs
The OU Esports Club is broken up into six individual programs of development. They are aimed at the macro view of the esports industry as well as the diverse community engagement needs of the microcosm of a university campus. Here is a brief overview of each of them as well as a link to more information. These six pillars of development have been our doctrine since research began in Fall 2016.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION HELPS US SCULPT THE FUTURE!
These students represent the tip of the sword in our development. The students that comprise our leadership team showcase personal initiative and high energy as they head each one of these individual programs and are put in direct contact with peer university programs, industry businesses and professionals, and present to other administrative bodies in and outside of the University of Oklahoma.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION HELPS US GIVE A HOME TO ALL GAMERS!
The community program is our way of giving back and engaging OU’s population as well as the region. We aim to find a method to cater to all gamers regardless of their diverse interests. From MOBAs (Massively Online Battle Arena) and FPS (First Person Shooter), to fighting games and cards, every game is just as unique as its player-base. We also look at opportunities to develop programming regionally by fostering events with the public or with students K-12.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION HELPS US BEAT TEXAS IN A WHOLE NEW WAY!
Our Intercollegiate Competition Program is focused on developing teams and individuals for direct competition in various events, leagues, and tournaments. While the lack of governance from known entities is currently limited, every school at this moment is developing their own standards for eligibility referencing their own best practices, governance they are familiar to, and the rulesets of the competitions they are entering into. We are trying our best to standardize all requirements across the board with room for exceptions when they logically come up.
Media & News
YOUR CONTRIBUTION HELPS US TELL THIS STORY!
The Media & News are the storytellers of our development. The students that comprise our Media & News team showcase who we are in articles, reviews, opinion pieces, debates, and event coverage. We flex our media-centric focus to gain access to events with press passes and first-hand experiences. We partner with developers and manufacturers to review hardware and software to give opinions. We talk about trends in the industry and showcase the values we have as students at OU in the diverse gaming industries.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION HELPS THE LIGHTS, CAMERA, AND ACTION HAPPEN!
Shoutcasting, or sportscasting, is the esports answer to commentary during competition and events aka broadcast journalism. Have you tried watching a football game without commentary? It’s just not quite as engaging, is it? Nope! In the spirit of our drive to be our own esports entertainment powerhouse, we are developing announcers for real-time play by play announcing with heavy analytic breakdown, color casting, and after action review emphasis. Why? Because the industry is hiring them, it helps our cause, and just like sports entertainment, we have to entertain.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION HELPS US SHOWCASE WHO WE ARE!
Streaming Entertainment is the OU Esports Club answer to growing fanbases, building a community, and showcasing entertainers that reflect on gaming and its subcultures. Think of our program as all the ancillary programming you see on live sports entertainment, such as talk shows, interviews, and high-tier gameplay. This program works as the other half of our Shoutcasting Program to provide daily content. Shoutcasting represents official coverage of our sanctioned intercollegiate matches, scrims, and competitions while streaming entertainment is casual live streams produced by various members of the organization. From Super Mario Brothers speedruns to video game recipe recreations, our streamers are free to use their creativity to produce unique and interesting content.