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OU Gaming Club hosted its annual back to school event, and this year it was back bigger and better than ever.

With over $7,500 in sponsorships for food and giveaways, 375 attendees over the course of the weekend, and even more games to play, this event was one for the history books. This year also included big name sponsors such as Computer Connections, Streamlabs, Coca-Cola, and Pizza Hut. We also want to thank our alumni contributors with a big shout out to Anita Ly. 

The Return

The event saw the return of the Sooner Smash Dojo tournament on Friday, a Beat Saber tournament on Saturday, and the big giveaway on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, there were party games to play as well.

The event brought the OU Gaming Club energy back. New students, returning ones, and Esports staff and players alike were able to play video games together and enjoy each other’s company.

Michael “Moog” Aguilar, director of OU Esports and Co-Curricular Innovation, took attendees of the event on a tour of Cross Village Esports renovations that are in the works. There will be a gaming lab for students to play whatever form of video game they want, as well as a dedicated space for collegiate teams, production, streaming, news, and media.

“The idea is I want students to come in everyday and be a part of (OU Esports),” Aguilar said. “It doesn’t have to be purely the back to school event as this melting pot… it can be that throughout the year.”

OU Gaming Expands

It was easy to see the continuing growth of the Gaming Club and OU Esports. This year’s back to school event had more people and games and expanded upon what made last year’s so successful: community.

The OU Gaming Discord is now at over 3,100 members. By expanding the community events of last, OU Gaming club has more room to grow.

Alec Lawson, a sophomore attending the event, said his memories of last year’s back to school event brought him back for more.

“I remember how fun this event was last year, so I wanted to do it again,” Lawson said.

More People, More Community

At the core of OU Esports and OU Gaming Club is community. As the organization expands its reach with plans like the Cross Village renovations, more people will be able to join and find community in places.

Jacob Newell, a sophomore and competitor for the Smash Bros. team, said he was excited for more Smash Bros. and more people to play with, especially at Smash Dojo.

“There’s so many people we get (at Smash Dojo),” Newel said. “Even at this back to school event, we’re meeting all these new students and getting to play games with them.”

Although OU Gaming Club is wrapping up its back to school event, that does not mean the fun will stop. With more events coming up, such as Super Smash Dojo, Bedlam and Red River, as well as new expansions to OU Esports, there is a lot to look forward to on the horizon.

Check out even more photos!

Cooper Marshall

Cooper Marshall is a junior print journalism major minoring in social justice at the University of Oklahoma. He is the current News Lead of OU Esports News and Media. He enjoys biking, hiking, movies, and of course video games. While he's not a very competitive guy and prefers single-player games, he can totally beat you at Mario Kart.

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