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Oklahoma Colleges Form Esports Association

The Oklahoma Association of Collegiate Esports (OACE) held its inaugural meeting this week to help promote and solidify standards in the burgeoning industry.

Facilitated by Oklahoma City University’s eSports Director Jeff Price and team coordinator and head coach Paul Vaughan, the meeting put names to faces for those leading esports programs for their respective institutions.

The OACE meeting agenda included introductions, gaming hardware, software options, esports league play and esports academic programs. Additionally, the association began planning the first OACE all-state tournament to be held the second weekend of October.

“Colleges and universities in Oklahoma have been struggling with how and when to start esports at their institutions,” Price said. “The desire to expand student recruiting and provide casual esports and intercollegiate competitions drives many universities to just ‘jump in’ and start esports clubs or teams.

“The Oklahoma Association of Collegiate Esports provides a platform for local universities to establish and discuss best practices for esports and generate healthy competitive play. Universities and colleges with more experience can mentor new esports programs. The OACE is committed to building community through Oklahoma college esports players, coaches and professors.”

Oklahoma college esports programs currently participating in OACE include Cameron University, Carl Albert State University, East Central University, Henderson State University (Arkansas), Langston University, Mid-American Christian University, Murray State College, Northeastern State University, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma State University, Oral Roberts University, Redlands College, Southern Nazarene University, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma, and University of Tulsa.

Attendees of the inaugural meeting brainstormed intrastate tournaments, industry workshops, and professional conferences. Oklahoma City University eSports will organize the first OACE tournament the weekend of Oct. 10. OACE members institutions will not only compete but will also stream and “shoutcast” the events.

“For esports students, it’s easy to get lost in the void of leagues that are nationwide,” said Vaughan. “This is neighbors, coworkers, and former friends turned rivals on the digital field. We have no clue who will come out on top, but it is going to be awesome!”

For more information about the upcoming tournament and to follow OACE events, contact Paul Vaughan at pvaughan@okcu.edu.