Rising Industry, Rising Opportunity

Emily Maahs

As we continue to face the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and the new normal it has created, educational institutions continue to look for ways to better adjust to these changes safely and responsibly, while remaining accountable in continuing to provide a quality educational experience. While education continues to be the focus for these universities, preserving a sense of student community and closing the isolation gap that many students experience from online classes, is still of great importance. This creates further challenges for universities, as typical campus activities are not currently an option, and with many collegiate sports seasons being canceled or shortened, it is difficult to deliver a similar experience of live games in our now remote world. 

Enter the Pac-U, a collaborative effort by 11 of the universities that make up the Pac-12 “traditional sports” conference and their respective esports organizations in providing students a modern approach of generating school spirit remotely, through a non-physical form of collegiate competition. The Pac-U offers students the opportunity to experience the camaraderie, fanship, and rivalries often attributed to physical collegiate sports, specifically in the Pac-12, in a safe “digital arena”. Our Trojan esports teams for League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League will be competing in the Pac-U this Fall semester, with the season coming to a close the week before Thanksgiving.

 While the Pac-U’s ultimate motive is to establish esports as a key component in student life, the digital conference offers each of the universities much more than something to rally around in this ongoing quarantine. While players of each respective university esports teams can continue to play from the safety of their homes, the community of students and staff behind the Pac-U can use the group as an opportunity to learn and explore various positions within the competitive gaming scene, as well as network across different campuses. You know us Trojans love any excuses to network!

Whether you are interested in gaming, streaming, or simply being part of an inclusive and exciting community, the Pac-U encourages any interested students to get involved and be part of a group that hopes to pioneer digital entertainment, competition, and gaming in the West. The goal is to engage each student population within their esports programs, build connections across schools, and ultimately, exchangeably learn from each other’s practices in this growing industry that is competitive gaming. There are a myriad number of ways to get involved including positions such as Technical Director, Competitive Administrator, Producer, Caster, Observer, Graphics Operator, and more, offering students the opportunity to learn and grow skills that will potentially aid them in school, personal, and career-driven ambitions. Students will learn how to create professional-looking broadcasts within an evolving hub of collegiate esports, all while being part of a community of students who share similar passions. 

For students who are interested in directly volunteering for the Pac-U and in developing new skills under the guidance of partners within the industry and “retiring” upperclassmen students, please fill out the Pac-U Volunteer Interest Form. No experience is required for any of the positions. As long as you are interested and willing to learn, you are more than welcome to get involved. Be part of the group that will unite collegiate esports and rep your Trojan pride!

 

 As for students looking for a way to display their school spirit from home, tune in on Twitch @pacugaming to support our Trojan teams competing in their final games of the Fall 2020 Inaugural Season! 

For more information on the Pac-U visit 

https://www.pacugaming.com/

For updates on our Trojan Esports Teams and upcoming events and matches make sure to visit https://www.usctrojanesports.com/