This weekend in Talley Student Union, nearly 2,000 gamers will participate in the largest East Coast collegiate eSports competition. The event will feature tournaments in Hearthstone, League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
Fourteen universities across the Carolinas will have teams coming out to play. However, only two universities will have female gamers as part of their team.
“Women in eSports have had an organizational role rather than a team, not for any particular reason,” said Ryan Griffin, a senior studying Sport Administration at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Griffin is the executive director of the Carolina Collegiate eSports Committee and one of the organizers of the event.
“I don’t know why that is, if there is a stigma attached to it, or societal reason,” Griffin said. “We figure that the men to women ratio are 70 to 30, mostly college-aged. While it is true that men show up more frequently, there is actually a good representation of women. You won’t find many eSports events that are all men.”
Admission is free, and the event will start at 10 a.m. and will run until 8 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Students also have the option of bringing their own computers and consoles for LAN play, which allows for people in the same location to play games with each other. Students are encouraged to pre-register at clashofthecarolina.org or can register the day of the tournament.
The actual tournaments will start during various times of the first day of the event. On Saturday, the first League of Legends tournament will be at 10 a.m., CS:GO and Super Smash Bros: Melee Singles at 10:30 a.m. and Hearthstone at 2:30 pm. Sunday will feature Super Smash Bros. Melee Crew Battles at 11 a.m. and finals for the other games starting at 10 a.m.
The event will raise money for Operation Supply Drop, a charity organization that sends games to the troops. United States military service members will be a big part of the attendees of the event as part of Operation Supply Drop.
The event will also feature a prize pool that is estimated to be about $7,500. Additionally, 1,000 Loot Crates™ have been donated to be distributed at the event. Loot Crates are mystery boxes that contain video game and science-fiction-themed toys and T-shirts. Anyone who registers on the event’s website clashofthecarolina.org and comes to the Operation Supply Drop booth at the event between 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday will receive a Loot Crate.
Ledford estimates prizes to be worth more than $50,000 when including the Loot Crates. Intel will also give out graphics cards and monitors as prizes.
Viewing rooms will be available for major tournaments that will be happening around the country. The event will also feature a Tespa and Epic Games panel on Saturday.
Seventeen people from NC State will be competing this weekend. Stephen Downhower, a freshman studying computer science is hoping for a top-four finish.
“I am expecting for me and my team, NCSU Team Alpha (NC State’s Division I Collegiate Star League team), to perform far beyond average at the Clash of the Carolinas due to the immense amount of practice we have undergone to prepare ourselves for this event,” Downhower said.