Feb. 23, 2021 — Northern Kentucky University Esports Team invites the campus community and alumni to take part in a weekly Rocket League Tournament beginning Feb. 24. NKU Esports is a new varsity sports program for students to compete in live video game competitions like Madden NFL or Rocket League, an arcade-style game blending soccer and vehicular mayhem.
The month-long tournament is open to any member of the NKU community across all skill levels. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are invited to form three-person teams. The tournament takes place each Wednesday throughout March, and participants can register for one, two or all four weeks of the event. The top team will face off against the NKU Varsity Rocket League team in an exhibition match. Each member of the winning team will also receive an Alienware S5000 Gaming Chair thanks to Dell Technologies. All teams who compete will be eligible for prizes, including NKU gear and apparel, and NKU Esports will be raffling off prizes to spectators who watch each Wednesday’s live event.
“We are excited to highlight the existing NKU Esports Club and Varsity Rocket League team, as well as collaborate with groups across campus to provide fun and entertaining experiences for the community,” said Dean Jim Buss, with NKU’s Honors College and director of NKU Esports. ”Esports is a growing industry and NKU is poised to become a leader in preparing students for careers in this area. The month-long event will highlight our existing opportunities and provide a platform for developing future programming.”
The Rocket League Tournament culminates with the ribbon cutting of The Sandbox—an innovation lab and home to NKU Esports—on March 27. The Sandbox serves as a hub for students to practice and compete and includes a broadcasting studio. The team received a $75,000 grant through NKU’s Innovation Challenge last January to build The Sandbox. The Innovation Challenge awarded funds that supported student success initiatives.
The NKU Varsity Rocket League team recently finished their fall regular season with an undefeated 10-0 record. Out of 123 schools competing in the National Association of Collegiate Esports Rocket League Fall Cup, NKU was one of only five undefeated teams heading into the national playoffs. The team ultimately secured a spot in the Collegiate Rock League Wild Card as one of the top 20 teams in the nation.
The NKU Esports Kick Off will be live-streamed each Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. on the NKU Esports Twitch.tv The event is co-sponsored by the NKU Department of Campus Recreation, the Athletic Department, the Honors College and Dell Technologies. The evening broadcasts will feature interviews with campus partners, “campus celebrity” one-on-one matches, and nightly give-aways.To learn more and sign up for the NKU Esports 2021 Spring Kickoff Tournament, visit its website.
About NKU: Founded in 1968, NKU is an entrepreneurial state university of over 16,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty and staff on a thriving suburban campus nestled between Highland Heights, Kentucky and bustling downtown Cincinnati. We are a regionally engaged university committed to empowering our students to have fulfilling careers and meaningful lives. While we are one of the fastest-growing universities in Kentucky, our professors still know our students' names. For more information, visit nku.edu.