By Kai Blair, Journalist

Photo courtesy of unsplash.com

McDonalds and Gen G, a nonprofit esports organization, launched an online conference where students from the Washington, DC HBCU metro area competed in video game tournaments and participated in panels live with professional esports athletes.

The partnership aims to widen the opportunities gap between the gaming and esports industry. Cxmunity, an esports organization with a mission to increase minority participation in the games, helped organize the event and bring the athletes together.

African-American esports industry leaders hosted live Rocket League and Super Smash Brothers Ultimate tournaments filled with minority esports players at the conference on November 12-13. The tournament winners walked away with cash prizes and bragging rights for their respective schools.

The event also featured keynote speakers sharing tips on broadcast production, software creation, and digital design. Anthony Moorman, commentator and former professional esports player, spoke about the importance of Fortune 500 companies supporting minorities and games.

“A Fortune 500 company that highlights an event like this for minorities is huge. It’s sort of letting minorities know that they’re not stuck in certain areas, ”Moorman said.

Through the conference, HBCU students in the Washington, DC metro area met others with a similar passion for esports. Ahmad Whitaker, Rocket League captain of Howard University’s Esports team, spoke about how special and competitive it was to play with other HBCU students.

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“Playing with other HBCU students was amazing. Even when a team won, there was a certain respect in the game even though there was a huge disparity in skill level. It was always a lot of fun to play, ”said Whitaker.

“We went to the final and ended up losing to our rivals: Morgan State. They just surpassed us, ”he added.

Copy edited by Ashleigh Fields


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