Roughly a year and a half ago, the founding Editor-in-Chief of SoonerEsports.org wrote the first letter to you all. OU Esport’s pillar of news and media was the product of nearly a year’s worth of work, and the enthusiasm of Bailey Brown to develop something truly great. It would be hard to argue that she didn’t. Sooner Esports is a shining example compared to other collegiate esports programs. Bailey’s ability to build and inspire her team with almost nothing is remarkable. It’s definitely a skill I aspire to.
I transferred to the University of Oklahoma this past summer of 2019 from Cameron University. OU is well known across the state as one of the go-to places for engineering and medical sciences, but there was more than just academics I was looking for. Trips to OU had spoiled me, as the sense of community and involvement here is hard to match across Oklahoma. This extends to OU Esports too. Even at the first mixer, it was unmistakable that this was my place on campus. The sense of family and passion for games was honestly thrilling. Most of my life, I’ve watched people degrade video games as a competitive sport or beautiful art form. OU Esports openly defies stereotypes about what it means to be a gamer by creating an inclusive and fun environment for everyone. Most people expect gaming communities to be a cold, gross place filled with “git gud or git out” attitudes. If you ever fall into that belief, I encourage you to visit an event of ours and immerse yourself in a different spirit.
So, I think the core of our job at Sooner Esports is to objectively showcase what our organization is doing and where our teams are going. But, we hope to aim even higher. We want to highlight the efforts of esports and gaming across all Oklahoma and beyond. Within the last few years, collegiate esports has really exploded into an exciting field. Oklahoma has seen the rise of esports programs at UCO, CU, OCU, and even to high schools. We plan to cover as much we can, while also looking at the gaming and esports industry at large. This means pieces ranging from the latest changes in a popular esports title like Overwatch, and thought-provoking op-eds discussing the culture of the esports industry. This year we especially hope to broaden our articles by discussing gaming journalism topics at large, such as reviews on hardware and games themselves. We desire to see our program continue to grow and gain credibility in the collegiate and gaming space.
The program has grown incredibly rapidly, and it’s clear it will continue to. There are certainly going to be some more growing pains. However, I know that the pure potential and excitement of our students will continue to propel OU Esports forward. OU Esport’s leadership has begun to change hands from those original and now-graduating founding members to the second generation of students. So, it’s up to us to build and expand on the foundations they have laid. Your feedback through views, comments, critiques, and shares are so valuable. We are thrilled and thankful to be given the opportunity to write and entertain you. And I’m absolutely honored to be selected to lead the News & Media teams forward.
Thank you again,
Sooner Esports Editor-in-Chief, Derek Snow
For the rest of the year, based on the number of writers we have, we are looking to publish at least two articles a week as we transition into second-gen leadership. While we aim for more, we deeply appreciate your patience and understanding.