SUNY Canton hosted the inaugural open house for women in eSports on Friday December 6 th at the Canton eSports Arena in Nevaldine Hall. It was a free event organized for women of all ages with interests in eSports. About 40 women comprising of a mix of high school and college students, and the SUNY staff were in attendance to take part in several popular video games, among them the Overwatch and League of Legends. Being the first of its kind, it was a hugely successful event that comes in the wake of perceived dominance of eSports by the male gender, with more and more eSports platforms such as www.betway.co.ke/esport being launched.
Bridging the divide
Speaking before the event, Courtney B. Wish, the Dean of Students and Vice President for student affairs highlighted the importance of getting more women involved.
“We hope to encourage women to take part in eSports by showcasing our incredible facilities. The demographics for competitive gaming show a large discrepancy in participation between men and women. We are offering an opportunity for both serious women gamers and beginners to come and enjoy themselves in a welcoming atmosphere.”
SUNY Canton has been providing coed competition in various disciplines via the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), where more than ten females students are currently participating in the program. Some of these students attended the event to offer guidance to beginners, to offer professional advice, and also to play alongside the invited guests.
Emily Oeser is a well-known game designer and developer, and her presence in the eSports open house was a big statement to show how serious they’re taking women’s eSports. Worth noting, Oeser captained the Overwatch team that helped grow the participation of more females in the program. In 2018, she helped her team to the ECAC Championship title, and a runners up finish in 2019. She is also credited with orchestrating the premier recording of collegiate all-women’s Overwatch match versus Stephens College in Columbia.
Alongside Oeser, the event attracted other female captains, including Madison e. Cragle of “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate”, and Kasey Palmer of “League of Legends”. Both are students who are currently participating in Veterinary Science Technology programs in the college.
The program was funded courtesy of the SUNY Performance Investment Fund grant, which is designed to provide equal opportunities for online students. Guests had the opportunity to play on at least one of the Alienware Area 51 computers, on PlayStation Pro, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox consoles. If eSports is your thing, or you are interested in learning, you can catch a glimpse with Betway for great winning opportunities.
Being the first event of its kind, SUNY Canton will take credit for opening an avenue for women in eSports, and showing the world that the female gender can be as successful as their male counterparts. The main theme of the event was to bridge the apparent discrepancy, and to encourage women participation through getting more students to enroll in the program, and to spread the word. The main speakers in the event emphasized on the need for women to go for opportunities as opposed to being onlookers. The evident growth of eSports around the globe,and the money getting invested in different tournaments is a testament of its potential in the near future.