Alfred State College and its newly launched Esports team recently welcomed 23 students from five area high schools for a fun and informative event that focused on the growing world of competitive gaming.
Schools that attended the first Alfred State Esports Invitational included Dundee, Wellsville, BOCES Wildwood, Alfred-Almond, and Spencer-Van Etten. Participants began their day by touring the new Esports Suite in the Student Leadership Center and by playing several different games under the guidance of the college’s Esports team.
Next, the students toured the new game and interactive design spaces in the Engineering Technology Building. Afterward, they were able to hear from game design industry professional and Alfred State alum Eric Doty about what it’s like to work in the game development field.
A 2007 graduate of the computer engineering technology program, Doty is currently the head of product at Mobcrush, and has also worked in the Xbox division at Microsoft. Doty, who flew in from California to speak with the students, was an integral part of the Alfred State community when he was a student, according to Alfred State Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Spencer Peavey, who noted that Doty served as a residence assistant and orientation leader.
“Having him back on campus was amazing, as he was widely missed,” Peavey said. “A moment of pride for me was seeing who he has become as a leader in the industry and in his community. Seeing him interact with our current student leaders and the way they admired him was the best part of the visit for me.”
After learning from Doty, the students concluded their day by attending a Q&A session and a lunch. Peavey said the feedback he received from the students and the high school representatives was overwhelmingly positive.
Some schools, Peavey noted, even remarked that they greatly appreciated the event because they are also looking to create their own Esports space, but were unsure of how to build or support one.
“We were very happy with the turnout,” Peavey said. “We were asked by the schools attending to offer this annually, so we may look to increase it in size next year.”
Looking to continue impacting the future of competitive gaming, Alfred State’s Esports team, as well as many other student clubs and organizations, Peavey said, have identified high school Esports startups as the focus of their civic engagement initiatives.
“They will be working with local high schools to mentor students and support new programs and team development,” Peavey said.
Alfred State is thankful to its Esports team, Doty, and all of the participating students and high schools for making the college’s first Esports Invitational such a success.