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FUTURE INTENT OF THIS SEMESTERLY UPDATE AND INTRODUCTION

For the past 3 semesters I’ve produced an academic report card start providing more visibility within our program to you the supporters and viewers. However, two things are happening from this point forward. The GPA report card will be a standard update while I work to evolve this into more of a newsletter we will use to promote our achievements, opportunities of impact, and student stories. Additionally, the keys to this will be handed over to the Media & News team now that the standard is being established and they will drive the narratives on top of director areas of highlighting.

The Fall 2023 semester was full of change and opportunity kicking off the year with our Board of Regents approving our proposal to renovate our allocated space on campus. This was followed by the the first employees formally of OU ECCI’s timeline with two graduate assistants over our Community & Labs and Intercollegiate Esports Programs. This marks the biggest impactful shift away from our grassroots student organizational volunteerism start into further formalized departmental growth. The creation of an alumni advisory board and the enablement of the first undergrad jobs are mark the Fall 2023 semester as a significant one. Take a look below as this newsletter format may evolve a little in the future but the insights are broken into three categories. Top Level updates, Notable Awards, and Departmental specific updates. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to stay on top of what The University of Oklahoma is doing with our gaming culture and esports developments and hope to continue building our legacy and successes for generations to come!

– Director Moog, OU Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation (OU ECCI), The University of Oklahoma

TOP LEVEL DEPARTMENTAL UPDATES

THE FALL 2023 GPA REPORT CARD & ORGANIZATIONAL PULSE

PROGRAM INSIGHTS

176
PROGRAM STUDENTS
3.16
PROGRAM GPA
55
PROGRAM STEM STUDENTS
73
PROGRAM STEAM STUDENTS

OTHER PROGRAM DATA

18
4.0 STUDENTS
70
3.0+ STUDENTS
55
DEGREES REPRESENTED

COMMUNITY INSIGHTS

3,450
Community Members
450
COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS
  • All 3 campuses represented
  • All 18 Norman colleges represented
  • Remains one of OU’s biggest single topic interest groups
  • 500+ new community members since July 2023
  • Now over 10% of entire student population in size

MARKETING ANALYTICS & PERFORMANCE

CURRENT FOLLOWER AMOUNTS

FALL '23 POST AMOUNTS

"GAMERHAUS" DEDICATED DORMS?!....."Soon"

You are probably thinking so wait, students can compete for OU and they can live together in dorms!? No or not yet at least. The “GamerHaus” is a living learning community or LLC as known across housing programs across different schools. Having dedicated dorms to a specific topic or area of study has proven to increase student retention rates, their grades, and their graduation timelines. By using single topic housing opportunities you have several examples of this at OU with the “Honors College” dorms, “Athletics” dorms, and “freshman only” dorms. Because many students regardless of a their variables all have at least some commonality in topic or interest it becomes easier for them to make friends, find interest groups, and be setup for the best possible success outside of the classroom.

The GamerHaus LLC will NOT be focused on our program students or external recruits. That will be pushed for way later which will resemble the closest thing to athletic dorm equivalency. However, this LLC is focused on inviting students who are organically already at OU and have interests in gaming culture and/or esports programming. We have already written curriculum and in collaboration with OU Housing Services will vet an RA who will be responsible for the area who will then have access to our complex in the same building and provide opportunities for GamerHaus students to be exposed to all the programs and events we do hopefully inspiring pipeline development for the jobs that are discussed in another update further down this list.

We have checked all the boxes to get this going except for one and once it’s checked we’ll immediately start promoting our extremely limited beds for freshman to apply for. If you’re the friend, parent, or a fresman in the Fall 2024 and this interests you, no matter what, you need to fill out your housing application like normal. Our registration will be seperate but it builds upon your general housing application not the other way around. Watch our socials for updates on this topic which should hopefully go live before Spring Break.

MORE CURRICULUM AND COURSE OPTIONS

Forming partnerships and growing our academic tie-in opportunities has been a goal since the origination of this effort in 2016. Ensuring we always tried to find a balance of our own cultural norms while blending university mission, goals, and culture has taken patience and intentional bridge building, but it has started to finally pay off in big ways. Curriculum is a substantial opportunity for OU’s collective academic goals. Gaming and esports both represent both old and new industry opportunities as forms of entertainment and workforce creation. From event planning, team management, production, streaming, and journalism there are so many pathways history repeats itself using gaming and esports as pathways to develop students. Below are the two course offerings at OU that ECCI has directly influenced or is teaching and there is more to come. Look for Price College of Business to further jump into the mix for the Fall 2024 semester and on!

  • JMC 3011 – Intro to Live Streaming Platforms Practicum (Since Fall 2021)
    • Instructor Michael “Moog” Aguilar, Director of OU Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation, Adjunct Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication
    • 20 Seat Capacity (Averaging 18 enrolled)
    • Virtual Only – Creative Media Production Major Priority
    • DESCRIPTION: Learn live event production, video production, and event management around streaming while utilizing free tools like OBS & SLOBS. (Open Broadcast Software & Streamlabs Open Broadcast Software
  • MGT 3710 – Esports Business (Since Spring 2024)
    • Instructor Joshua “Thumper” Riesenberg, Intercollegiate Esports Coordinator of OU Esports (Graduate Assistant), Adjunct Price College of Business
    • 30 Seat Capacity (Averaging 24 enrolled)
    • On Premise – Adams Hall
    • DESCRIPTION: Learn the basics of being a business professional in esports. Curriculum focused around experiential learning and skill development, student will learn event organization, marketing, finances, and value propositions.

OU BOARD OF REGENTS APPROVES PROJECT DEVELOPMENT FOR ESPORTS & GAMING COMPLEX

In June 2023, the formal proposal to renovate our esports and gaming complex space was approved. We immediately went to work on selecting the architect and are sitting on our finalized plans and renderings to bring it to life as university administrators circulate those documents to give the final nods before we publicize it. This will also trigger a call to action for support in donors, sponsors, and fundraising with an extremely dynamic asset and inventory of items to be able to support from namesakes, sponsor placement, and physical activation opportuntiies alike.

The facility, located one block North of the brand new softball stadium and one block south of the football stadium facing Jenkins, will be up to 5,500 sq. ft in size and house bouth our development efforts in tandem with our community engagement home for all. Since May 2023, we have been hard at work in retrofitting our space which officially opened for some exclusive functions to development programs and select events with the OU ECCI program only. While the referenced renovation won’t happen quite yet due to the logistics and timing involved we will be opening our facility for select days of operation in the Spring 2024 semester with the goal of 7 day operations starting in the Fall 2024 semester and on. More details on that in “THE PREVIEW” update below.

Complex Location (Current & Renovation)

References:
OU Board of Regents Meeting Minutes, June 2023
The Oklahoman
The Norman Transcript

OU ECCI ALUMNI BOARD OF ADVISORS FORMED AND LAUNCHED

PURPOSE OF THE ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD

When the OU ECCI Program first started, the focus was getting to the next milestone and building the brand and reputation of collegiate esports. 2023 became a pivotal year across the board and the OU Esports Alumni Advisory Board was created to support initiatives for the program by leveraging the global alumni network. Blurb: 2023 was focused on building a Board with the right support and passion in seeing OU Esports’ success. Moving into 2024, the goal is to create pathways to career opportunities, provide professional development workshops, contribute in fundraising efforts, etc. Sooner nation is powerful and this Board plans to be another facet for alumni o give back to a program that has proven impact.

MESSAGE FROM THE ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR

2023 was focused on building a Board with the right support and passion in seeing OU Esports’ success. Moving into 2024, the goal is to create pathways to career opportunities, provide professional development workshops, contribute in fundraising efforts, etc. Sooner nation is powerful and this Board plans to be another facet for alumni to give back to a program that has proven impact.

THE FIRST ALUMNI ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

"THE PREVIEW", OU ECCI GAMING & ESPORTS COMPLEX LAUNCHING SOON

This is our next big program milestone. Since May 2023 we’ve been working to bring our venue to life through gracious donations, support from Student Affairs, and patience we started using our space retrofiting what used to be 2 different organizations. The OU Gaming & Esports Complex is currently segmented into adjacent spaces within the first floor of Cross B, facing Jenkins Avenue, on the NE corner of 4th and Jenkins.

The Esports Clinic is housed in what used to be an extension of OU’s Goddard Health Services which is the glass front on the corner between Cross buildings B and D and facing the Sooner Card Office. The clinic’s intention is for the development side of ECCI where competitors train and compete, streamers go live, productions narrate the gameplay, and media and news artifacts get created. The Gaming Venue is housed in what used to be a Lululemon retail store during the initial concepts for luxury housing and amnenities before OU purchased the spaces in Spring 2021. The gaming venue side is the home for all gamers on campus regardless of games, genre, platforms, etc. It is intended to be the sanctuary where gaming is the only thing that matters and through that we establish and maintain a healthy community. It will also be open to the public during specific timeframes and between Spring and Fall semesters.

Both spaces have been used since back to school, August 2023, but only in a specific need basis for development and events. This semester will mark the launch of the the gaming venue to standard days of operation to the entire OU population taking events, programming, and now a new daily home for all gamers to life as we vet processes, build our own workflows, and establish the brick and mortar extension of our predominately digital community after 7+ years of existence. Both current spaces come to about 4000sq. ft in space with the renovation estimating 5500sq. footage.

Now we’re not going to spoil any thing further but expect our ou.edu/esports and sooneresports.org websites to be fully updated in the upcoming weeks once we announce our hard launch date sometime in March. For now, we’re hosting a few soft launch days to start the process of developing our training for staffing, policies for the space, and finishing up the deployment of furniture and tech. Lastly, this entire complex was approved for renovation by the Board of Regents this past Summer 2023 and will start that process after the final blessings are given by university stakeholders, but our current retrofitted “PREVIEW” space will already have 75% of all technological capabilities that the renovated plans included, so if the beautification and upscaling is delayed a little, it’s ok. We’ll be here on the road to that time! Stay tuned!a

SCHOLARSHIP UPDATES & STUDENT JOB ENABLEMENT

Many looking at investing in their futures are also looking for as much financial support as they can acquire and as we see history repeat itself in a lot of way with traditional athletics programs, many universities now offer scholarship or other forms of financial assistance specifically for esports students in competition. From Spring 2021 through Fall 2023, OU ECCI was similar. There are many ways universities can strategize these incentive programs from leveraging central funding tuition dollars, sponsorships, and fundraising efforts to name a few methods. For OU ECCI specifically, we have raised over $170,000 in scholarship awards since January 2021 with university and the ECCI director focusing on infrastructure resources such as physical spaces, partnerships on campus, and further university buy-in and support. However, all of that fundraising was the result of student leadership searching and working to raise those funds. Unfortunately, that chapter of student leadership were all parts of the pre-pandemic era and due to the complete cultural disruption that motivation has not fully resumed since and has resulted in Fall 2023 being the last semester of scholarships until teams get to fundraising their own needs for the next couple of years.

At the end of the Fall 2023 semester, Director Moog worked on creating jobs leveraging different eligible budget buckets to enable our leadership, production, influencer development, media & news, and community & labs rosters to enter into hourly rate positions in preparation for mid Spring 2024 semester and on evolutions. While the majority of prospective students look at “esports scholarships” as rewarding performance in competition exclusively we had an equal stance on the need to develop students for the industry support needed to make a league, event, entertainmnent segment, or competitive series function. With these changes and effective by the time you read this over 30 students are being onboarded into jobs for those areas as a strategy shift in how we incentivize student recruitment, retention, and development. While ECCI as a whole is working towards revenue generation goals with our upcoming venue soft launch, future venue renovation, and support from OU Advancement and Licensing. these expansions will become self-sustaining through leveraging our growing resources.

Regarding our intercollegiate esports program and the competitors on teams, they have been given the keys to the kingdom, a workforce that can market, put on events, produce live streams, and write interviews, at their request allowing them to set a $2K fundraising goal retain 90% of the earnings and the staff get paid for their time. This allows teams to fundraise effectively which will always be an essential item just like any other extra curricular throughout life. Additionally, they are now only limited to their availability in time and creativity. As OU ECCI completes it’s own fundraising campaigns for venue renovation and job stabilization it will snap back to fundraising for student incentive programs like travel abroad, scholarships, room & board waivers, training, team travel, and more!

This means from Fall 2024 on these areas of our developments will be vetted and applied for within OU ECCI as we have always done then they will be on-boarded through OU HR for payroll as our standard. This also means that roster size caps will start being enforced to maintain scalability and effiecient workforce numbers on retainer.

WEBSITE UPDATES, BIOs & HEADSHOTS, & STUDENT SPOTLIGHT SOCIAL BLASTS LAUNCHED

In Fall 2023, alumna Anita Ly (2022 MBA) proposed some changes to our website and we revamped our programs and student presence. Thanks to coordinated efforts to document our students appearance, stories, and areas of study, Director Moog and Alumna Anita Ly revised the Programs Directory page and created a BIO repository of our collective strenght across all program students. Take a look!

With the newly available documentation readily availble, this semester, Raymond Nguyen, our Marketing Coordinator, presented the idea of doing multiple student spotlights every week across our socials to provide further visibility and bring awareness to the fact “GAMER” isn’t defined by anything more than a love for gaming, a specific game, platform, or genre.

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT EXAMPLES

NOTABLE AWARDS & EVENTS

BACK TO SCHOOL 2023

Back to School every year continues to be our most important event of the year bringing together so many incoming freshmen to help them find the community through the common ground of gaming. Through that students are welcome to be an active community member, lurk in the shadows, or get involved acrosss over different 6 programs and 20+ competitive rosters all licensed by OU and managed by OU ECCI. Back to school is about a 2-3 day weekend after the first full week of courses to help reset the potential anxiety of many new students overwhelmed by providing an escape right on campus and helping them break ice with others. We focus on putting on programming that exposes new to our community students about standard programming, our cultural expectations of conduct and supporting community, program social mixing events, and give a ton of giveaways to kick off the year.

We have been growing attendance for this exponentially since we started doing these back in Fall 2018. We now have surpassed over 500 in attendance throughout the weekend. Click the promo image to take a look at recap content from that event and the recap video beneath it. One thing we drill down during this weekend is that GAMING IS FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYONE IS WELCOME! Gamer is not defined by anything past your love for a game, genre, platform, or culture within the extremely diverse sea of gaming as a whole topic. There is a menu that caters to everyone.

BEDLAM 2023 "TRADITIONS EVOLVED, RIVALRIES MAINTAINED"

When we inspired the start of an evolution of a storied rivalry between The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, “Traditions Evolved, Rivalries Maintained” has become our standard as we completed our 6th annual Bedlam. Now while the football side of this story sometimes gets rather “feisty” the esports side has always been about collaboration, showcasing our pride, and working together for a philanthropic cause. This time it was the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital who received over $2,500 in donations through out advocacy streams and promotions.

Esports Bedlam started as a single day event in 2018 and is now a two day with alternating locations. The first day was hosted inside the Kid Zone of the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital allowing kids to come through and watch and support their houses preferred university and seeing esports athletes compete, fist bump, give GGs, and have a ton of fun. The second day this year was hosted at the Oklahoma State Gaming Arena in the basement of the OSU Student Union.

This year also marked the first time we had a Bedlam sponsor thanks to OU’s Price College of Business. Thank to the Gamers of Oklahoma State and OU Esports students alike. Working together lifts all and until we are level playing ground we can’t properly build marketable events that showcase what we do, generate revenue to impact students, and further push the culture forward. Watch the recap video and click on the promo image to go back read the full recap.

CHESS WEEKLIES, MONTHLIES, STATE EVENTS, OH MY....

OU ECCI has a comprehensive slate of events for the Spring 2024 semester for the thriving chess community! This initiative showcases the university’s dedication to fostering a vibrant chess community not just on campus but also in the wider region. Why Chess? Chess is a timeless strategy game that sharpens the mind, enhances decision-making skills, and offers a universal language connecting people across various backgrounds. In additional to this, Chess has emerged as one of the top Esports in the world, consistantly top 5 in streamed games on Twitch. How OU is Doing Chess We are bolstering this tradition by hosting 19 events that include 9 tournaments. This effort is designed to engage players of all levels, from beginners to advanced competitors, ensuring that there’s a place for everyone in the chess community.

SPRING 2024 PROGRAMMING INTENTIONS
1) Strengthen Community: By hosting regular events, OU Chess is creating a hub for chess enthusiasts to meet, play, and learn from each other, thereby strengthening community ties.

2) Develop Skills: With classes and tournaments, players can hone their skills. The instruction provided by members of the OU Chess Development team is particularly aimed at up-and-coming players.

3) Promote Competition: The tournaments, including the OU Chess Championship, offer a competitive platform for players to test their mettle and strive for excellence.

4) Support Education: Through fundraising efforts linked to these events, OU Chess is working towards providing equipment, scholarships, and hosting more events, all of  which contribute to a richer educational experience.

  • Chess Club: A free play club available to all experience levels.
  • Chess Class: Instructional sessions for strategic development.
  • Sooner Quads: Competitive, rated 4-5 person pools with prizes.
  • OU Bullet Challenge: A fast-paced, unrated tournament.
  • OUCC Qualifiers: Events that offer a path to the OU Chess Championship.
  • OU Chess Championship: The premier event with significant cash prizes!

OKLAHOMA CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL x OU ECCI IMPACTS

The Oklahoma Children’s Hospital is one of OU ECCI’s closest and most cherished partners. Our ongoing partnership allows us to extend our community’s reach, giving back to kids in treatment and recovery at our peer OU Health institution in the city. A primary effort and goal of our programming is to incorporate philanthropy consistently and effectively, and this has been the perfect avenue to turn that vision into reality.

The Fall semester held witness to over 450 hours of individual community service hours in a wide variety of events and opportunities. Most notably and further detailed was Esports Bedlam 2023, which opened the door for students from both OU and OSU to contribute countless hours of communuity service while simulatenously raising funds for them. Throughout the semester, a group of students worked on developing a personalized Minecraft world that recreates The Child Life Zone and offers a collection of minigames for kids in the hospital to play! Our competitive teams were also encouraged to create kid-friendly, gaming content for the hospital’s CCTV, and one of our Splatoon players was the first to show what that could look like! Lastly, every two weeks a small group of students from the OU Gaming Club visited The Children’s Hospital for miscellaneous activities, such as Bingo, Mario Kart Tournaments, Halloween Trick-or-Treating, and interactive gaming with patients!

As we head into the Spring semester, we strive to be more intentional with our events and activities. We have developed a semester-long calendar of events that we plan to follow through with, including things such as members of our Stream Team livestreaming from the hospital to the CCTV, PC building content pieces for live demonstrations and recordings to be played on CCTV, and Chess classes for beginners and intermediates of the game. We hope to get as many members of our development and community engaged with this partnership in a variety of mediums to positively impact the most kids in the hospital!

Splatoon CCTV Video

OU SPLATOON TEAM MEMBER TAKES 1ST IN THE "B.E.A. - ESPORTS COVERAGE" CATEGORY

OU Splatoon‘s own Dai, a CMP major, has placed first in the “Esports Coverage” category for the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts. If you are in Gaylord or have seen their presence they market their rankings being 2nd in nation and it’s BEA that gives them that ranking. This is another milestone for ECCI as it just put up a massive dub for the first time for BEA national which is over 300 universities and 1900 submissions to compete against in varying categories.

Here is the scope and criteria for this category: “SS9 – Esports Coverage”- This category is intended for the delivery of coverage and presentation of competitive, organized video gaming to the viewer. This could include pre and post-event show coverage, highlights, and live event production, promotional/tease video, and feature (video and/or audio), etc. CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO BEA CATEGORIES

This video was originally created to play at the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital’s CCTV network for kids in their care to uplift their spirits and teaching them how to play Splatoon. Maxwell produced an amazing video and BEA agreed. Congrats to Maxwell, us, and one more award for our students and the program! Now we wait for the BEA ranking list to release in March. ECCI is now a contributor to Gaylord’s national ranking and this category also compromises traditional sports coverage where the venerable Sooner Sports Pad is also a winner. While competitive rosters compete for who is the best through gameplay, awards like these are also our goals through diverse programming and intent.

PRICE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ALUMNI TAILGATE AND SIGNING DAY

The University of Oklahoma Price College of Business hosted its 16th annual Price and the Palace alumni and friends tailgate on November 11th. This event was sponsored by Sage Cobblestone, and hundreds of Price alumni, friends, current, and future students attended. This year, OU Esports was invited to set up and run a gaming tent in addition to the recurring festivities Price provides. Our development students set up two Nintendo Switches with Mario Kart, two Playstation 5s with Madden 23 and Street Fighter 6, and an emulator that allowed parents to relive NCAA Football 14 and created lasting memories for alumni and their children.

Aside from participating in the Price tailgate, OU Esports had a historic moment in hosting a signing day and being the first to announce an acceptance to the University of Oklahoma for an incoming freshman, Evan Hammond. Evan will be an incoming Price student Fall 2024, but has shown incredible initiative in the K-12 esports sector in Oklahoma. With a growing collaborative partnership between Price College and OU Esports, it was the perfect event to include representation from Katie Dorrough (Admission Counselor, OU Admissions & Recruitment), Mike “Moog” Aguilar (Director, OU Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation), and Dean Corey Phelps (Price College of Business) all publicly accepting Evan as an incoming Sooner.

This collaborative effort was made possible thanks to the growing OU Esports Alumni Advisory Board, beginning with a conversation held by Chair Anita Ly. For more details, please read about the Board.  Community Coordinator Jacob Ross organized the logistics and recruited his team of ambassadors and other leadership members to support the event. 

"SOONER DOJO SERIES", A COLLECTION OF EVENTS FOR THE FULL YEAR

We have always tried to work with preexisting energies and cultures before finding the compromises needed to evolve it out of grassroots energies and into a strategic intention for OU ECCI’s efforts. However, there is one event and org that predated our existence and timeline that we worked diligently to befriend, collaborate with, and eventually bring into the walls of our collective. Back in the early 2010’s a student org called “Sooner Smash Bros.” formed and started hosting weeklies and they persisted all the way until our creation and collaboration in 2017. After several events we agreed to join force, assimilate the org into the “Esports Association at OU”, our name at that time, and bolster our resources. That weekly, affectionally called “SOONERS” short for “Sooner Smash Dojo” still lives on today! Now a stable event happening in our venue every Friday night, it has expanded to include FGC titles like Guilty Gear: Strive, Street Fighter 6, Tekken 8, and Mortal Kombat 1 with a consistent 30-40+ in attendance and running no less than 40+ weeks out of the year on it’s own.

With our shift into opening a daily operational facility with staff this event will inspire a new generation of marketing and promotion. For the decade plus old “Sooner Smash Dojo”, we will rebrand our collective event structure to be called the “Sooner Dojo Series” with the modifier at the end of “Smash Edition, FGC Edition, Chess Edition, Madden Edition, etc.” This allows us to not forget student intention and passion before our time while evolving it to help support more students. This allows us to scale up our events that are marketable, have consistency in execution and expectation, open to the public, and have revenue generating potential. This will also create path ways for more flagship events that we can lump in together bigger monthlies, yearlies, and campus activations like intramurals and tailgates. We will have a ton more on this before this semester is over as the series will also be available for sponsorships for a 12 month calendar of events compromised of over 45 weeks of events throughout the year and having diverse audience targets. Stay tuned for more details on this! Check out the event branding teaser. These are NOT final, YET!

THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA WINS "PROGRAM OF THE YEAR", A GLOBAL STATEMENT

Last Fall, The University of Oklahoma was nominated for multiple categories and became finalists in the following categories:

  • Program of The Year: The University of Oklahoma
  • Club of The Year: OU Gaming Club/OU Esports
  • Director of The Year: Michael “Moog” Aguilar, Director of OU ECCI

We were completely humbled to watch and scream in amazement that The University of Oklahoma took home the Program of The Year Award which is a global acknowledgement. Watch the announcement video recap from The 2023 Esports Awards in Las Vegas in the video next to this.

Coverage Outlets:
– Inside OU Press Release
– OU Daily Coverage
– Forbes
– Esports.net

AREA SPECIFIC UPDATES

COMMUNITY & LABS

COMMUNITY & LABS LEADERSHIP

AN UPDATE FROM THE COMMUNITY & LABS COORDINATOR

I can confidently say that Fall 2023 was great for my first semester as the Community and Labs Coordinator for OU ECCI. An incredible team of ambassadors were selected and onboarded at the beginning of the semester by myself and Jackson Boyd, setting the foundation for a great fleet of events and activities. Many events were made possible by the passion of this team, the support from brands like MSI, and the presence of our ever-growing community. We hosted events ranging from Mario Kart tournaments to partnered events with Price College of Business to Five Nights at Freddy’s movie premiere. Let’s just say our event catalog for the fall was unique.

Spring 2024 is expected to continue experiencing growth for a multitude of reasons, some of which are being announced concurrently with this article and some that are still works in progress and should be announced soon. Events and game nights should carry on as we lead into officially opening our gaming venue, which will only enable more events and gaming opportunities for everyone. I hope that by the end of the semester, my ambassadors get paid doing something they love, the public community gets the opportunity to experience gaming with buddies side-by-side, and the venue becomes a second home for many people.

FALL '23 RECAP

– 22 Student Ambassadors
– 5-7 Weekly Event Average
– 75 Discord Events
– 80 Physical Events
– 24-26 Average Attendance for Events

INFLUENCER DEVELOPMENT

INFLUENCER DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP

UPDATE FROM THE INFLUENCER DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

The Fall 2023 semester brought on new challenges for the streaming side of OU ECCI with fresh and eager faces all around. Despite of the overall unfamiliarity that was experienced all around, the streaming sector persevered and was able to meet the criteria necessary. I am incredibly grateful for my team, all of their hardwork, and all of the support that I have received after taking on this role. For this upcoming semester, I hope to not only meet the criteria but build off of what took place last semester by creating more content and avenues for streamers to explore. Expect our area to launch a new branded content channel effort as we contribute to the overall goals of the ECCI collective bringing gaming entertainment to all regardless of their level of intensity.

FALL '23 RECAP

– 11 Stream Team Members
– 10-20 Hours Weekly Stream Average
– 5-10 Average Stream Viewership

INTERCOLLEGIATE ESPORTS

INTERCOLLEGIATE ESPORTS LEADERSHIP

UPDATE FROM THE INTERCOLLEGIATE ESPORTS COORDINATOR

Fall 2023 was a great but challanging semester with over half of our coaches, dev leads, and managers being new to leadership positions in ECCI. I am very proud of everyone for not only adapting to the rapid changes but achieving some of the highest placements OU has had in game. For Spring 2024, we are committing to achieving similarly high goals in academics, volunteering, and community. We understand that there is much more to esports then playing the game and are committed to embracing it!

FALL '23 RECAP

  • 20 Titles
  • 31 Teams
  • 128 Students
  • 307 Matches Played
  • 13.5hr/wk Average Team Activity

FUNDRAISING

  • Overwatch Hot Ones – $730
  • Apex Snack Station – $450
  • Call of Duty MW3 Launch – $1000
  • Halo Speedrun – $1200 (Feb)

NOTABLE PLACEMENTS

  • League of Legends undefeated in their NECC division
  • Rainbow Six placed 2nd in their NECC division
  • Chess placed 2nd in their NECC division
  • Halo placed top 8 in country
  • Call of Duty placed top 8 in country
  • Rocket League placed top 25 in SELeague
  • Fighting Games (Strive) Placed top 5 in first beta season of CFGC

WIN/LOSS DATA

  • ACC Schools – 4W-3L (57.14%)
  • Big 10 Schools – 12W-6L (66.67%)
  • Pac -12 Schools – 3W-2L (60%)
  • SEC Schools – 21W-9L (70%)
  • Big 12 Schools – 32W-14L (69.57$)
  • Non-P5 Schools – 111W-67L (62.5%)

MEDIA & NEWS

MEDIA & NEWS LEADERSHIP

UPDATE FROM THE MEDIA & NEWS COORDINATOR

This past semester, our team worked to expand the kinds of content we produced, with the OU Esports Game Awards, deeper analysis articles, and a fundraiser stream to fund future endeavors. Under the leadership of former Media & News Coordinator Cooper Marshall, we created the momentum to bring us into further expansion this semester. Whether through working to highlight more indie developers in game reviews and other articles to creating a more casual space to learn about the people behind OU Esports and their opinions about gaming today, Media & News is ready to take this next semester by storm!

FALL '23 RECAP

– 8 Media Team Students
– 6 News Team Students
– 12 Articles Produced
– 5 Videos Produced
– 16,673 Views

PRODUCTION

PRODUCTION LEADERSHIP

UPDATE FROM THE PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

I served as the Fall 2023 INTERIM Production Coordinator as the last effects in student attrition in leadership for the pandemic impacts hurt our ability to have organic succession plans for this area. This area is one of the biggest revenue generation opportunities for OU ECCI’s collective efforts and instead of just trying to push production to happen I instead focused on workflow overhaul and arming producers with more autonomy to allow for better scaling up and down as opportunities came up. It has definitely been rocky, but several areas are learning very fast and being able to build trust and automony to leverage OU’s only partnered and branded Twitch page is extremely powerful and will absolutely contribute to future financial stability intentions and revenue goals. I will be vetting and selecting a new Production Coordinator student before this semester is over so I can return to solely focusing on departmental top level goals exclusively.

FALL '23 RECAP

– 14 Producers and/or Shoutcaster Students
– Over 70 Matches Produced
– Over 230 Hours Produced
– 15-30 Average Viewership

SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS - THE SOLIDUS FUND

100% of the funding currently for all of the Solidus Scholarships comes from contributions from alumni, sponsorships, and supporters of our program. In respecting their wishes and community taking care of this program, 100% of those funds were put directly into these scholarships exclusively. This keeps the direct pipeline of contributions to the Solidus Fund purely aimed at impacting student opportunity and achievement. In the spirit of our namesake “for the community, by the community”. Funding for operations, staffing, and other budgets will come from other sources.

STATEMENT OF TRANSPARENCY

Even with our amazing numbers and all this positive energy we want to make sure we are being transparent. While these program averages are amazing, students sometimes do miss the mark and often have to step away from our program due to lack of focus on their academic goals and primary purpose for being at OU. We take their academic endeavors seriously and are always our #1 priority over performance and participation within OU ECCI. However, we also know that separating students away from things like this can be demoralizing and further push them down the path of unrecoverable failure. As we keep active tabs on all of our students in programs we actively work with them to ensure their balance and needs are met. From mental health concerns and academic performance to social time and fellowship we continuously aim to promote a culture of camaraderie and scholarly achievement in tandem with our success in development. These numbers reflect all students in programs regardless of being academically eligible or on probation as they reprioritize their focus.

– Director Moog

Mike "Moog" Aguilar

Mike "Moog" Aguilar is the Director of Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation at OU. He also works for OU IT doing project management and business analysis as well as an adjunct instructor for the Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication. He is a US Army veteran, has worked for Apple, worked in the public sector, and is a photographer of two decades. Mike has been a gamer since the Atari in the 80s and has been pioneering esports and gaming development and innovation at OU since 2016.

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