This weekend saw the return of the OU Gaming Club at its annual Back to School event. With over 100 attendees on Friday alone, the success of the event marked the start of a new era for the club. The event was also sponsored by a collection of amazing businesses and organizations that supplied food and prizes for the attendees.
Activities and Prizes
The event took place inside of the in-progress OU Gaming Club Venue and Esports Clinic inside Cross B. Once complete, the venue will include a gaming lab and dedicated spaces for OU Esports collegiate players and the streaming, media, news and production teams. While the venue is still in progress, attendees expressed excitement for its completion.
Jacob “Oculus” Ross, the community and labs coordinator, helped lead the Back to School event this year and is also looking forward to the completion of the Venue.
“Once we renovate fully, and I can see how beautiful the place really can be, that’s what I’m really excited for,” Ross said.
Many game tournaments took place over the weekend for prizes. On Friday, there were Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mario Kart 8, and Street Fighter 6 tournaments, and on Sunday, there were Halo: Infinite and Beat Saber tournaments. Saturday included a full tour of the new facility and a watch party for the Valorant Championship Tour.
While all of the tournaments over the weekend had prize pools, all student attendees were entered into a giveaway for the grant prize: a custom-built PC with accessories, sponsored by Computer Connection and MSI Gaming.
The giveaway was made possible thanks to the expansion of OU Esports and sponsors.
OU Esports and OU Gaming Club have been growing steadily every year. This year’s event had a big turnout, with over 150 attendees on Saturday, and the new venue has given the club a space to truly call its own.
The OU Gaming Club Discord is now at over 3,400 members. OU Esports is bigger now than it has ever been, and it continues to expand as each school year passes.
Community is the core of OU Esports, and the Back to School event has helped strengthen that idea. Many new and returning members are excited to see what this school year has in store for them.
Jenny “glizzy” Nguyen, a senior and the VALORANT Ambassador for Sooner Esports, is a longtime member and very excited about her new leadership position in the club. She volunteered for the OU Children’s Hospital this summer through OU Esports, and is excited to get more involved in the community this year.
“I’ve been in the club since 2020 when I started college, but I wasn’t active and I noticed that it was getting a lot of traction in school,” Nguyen said. “I also thought the volunteering aspect was really interesting because I like volunteering with children.”
Returning members are also excited about the improvements to the club that will help foster a greater sense of community in it. The venue is one of the biggest new additions in recent years.
Ross is one of the most excited members.
“The venue is kind of like my baby now,” Ross said. “I’m excited to watch as it grows. It’s great meeting people for the first time after talking to them on Discord for years and finally seeing their faces.”
The Back to School event was a huge success thanks to the student-led organization and a new venue to host it. But, the fun is far from over.
Weekly gaming events will be available for people to attend, and Bedlam and Red River Rivalry will happen later this semester. Stay tuned for further updates.