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Letter from The Editor: What and Who is Sooner Esports?

By April 2, 2018Spotlights5 min read

In October of 2017, our advisor held a general meeting to create interest around esports at OU. In a very long presentation, he mentioned looking for a high council (what we call our leadership. CAUSE WE’RE NERDS!) to help him establish the organization. He discussed eventually expanding into a news effort, but he planned on that being later down the road. I did not. Being the person I am, obsessing over gaming sites like IGN and Gamespot thinking about how I wanted a career like that, writing about what I love, I immediately went up to him, introduced myself, and practically begged him to let me work as the org’s news effort. After six months of waiting in the shadows, I got the opportunity to select a media team, and build our news efforts from the ground up. The time is finally here to launch Sooner Esports. This platform is a house for reporting and content creation of all things gaming. From the equipment to the personas, to the competition, to the players, and the games itself. Despite the obvious topics of esports we are higher education and our specific segment of esports and gaming creates some unique opportunities for building, collaboration, and development. As the world of esports continues to rapidly grow, higher education is set to be an influencer to the industry finally. With the introduction of things like Overwatch League, 10 million+ viewers during Riot Game’s League of Legends World Finals, Twitch already having substantial viewership over 75% of the conventional broadcast norms, the NBA’s esports endeavors this month, as well as the strong energies in grassroots communities, it is an interesting time to develop and discuss what we all want the industry and scene to be. In the beginning, my team and I will be focusing on the competitive scene in Oklahoma, and writing about trends and news in the numerous esports scenes. Soon after, we will house our competitive intercollegiate team development news, our entire organization’s information, and showcase both documentation of the student life experience as well as the evolving industry of sports entertainment in and outside of our state. We also are a home for a television station styled development. Stay tuned on that last one!

In just over 7 months, it has been amazing to see our organization go from nothing, to having a small group of people trying to make a website work, to the efforts of dozens of students caring about the importance gaming needs in mainstream media. And it’s even more exciting to see the support we have from our peers on why we would rather focus on the journalism of esports rather than competing. The competition side of esports is a small portion compared to the amount of work around journalism for those games. When you look at ESPN, Riot Games, Blizzard, even Twitch, they would have nothing without their journalism. Games and the competition surrounding them require press, marketing, advertising, reviews, explanation, news coverage, and communication to be successful. That is our mission as Sooner Esports, to advocate, promote, and support our players and the games we love in the state of Oklahoma.

Thank you for giving my team and I this amazing opportunity to begin a journey doing what we love. Your support, your comments, your suggestions and even your criticism is going to drive us to be better, do better, and write better. We understand the culture around gaming, from the love of it to the controversy of it, and everything in between. We are constantly seeing how fast this industry is growing, in more ways than one. And we plan to be running alongside with it. We promise to deliver our honest opinions and state the facts. I want this platform to not only be a source of news and entertainment for our readers, but I want it to be a place where my team and I can grow as writers in this field. If there is one thing we all have in common, it’s our love for this industry, and that passion will stay at the core of this platform and all efforts that go along with it.

Thank you again,

Sooner Esports Editor-in-Chief, Bailey Brown

We will proceed with regular programming starting no later than Wednesday morning, April 4, 2018.

Of course I am not alone! Founding this energy with me are three highly motivated peer writers. We will constantly be expanding and creating opportunities for both students, faculty, and special guests alike with helping us advocate, document, and develop everything gaming and esports across our state. Learn more about Alex, Clay, and David, the founding writers with me on this expansion of our organization! HERE!

Bailey Brown

Bailey is an advertising major, nonprofit studies minor in her third year at the University of Oklahoma. She was given her first gaming device at the age of 9 and hasn't put it down since. She enjoys the exploration and puzzle solving of The Legend of Zelda and claims she can "beat anyone" in Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers. Follow her on Twitter @MissBaileyKay

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