- Daylong Super Smash Bros. competition kicks off at 11:00 a.m. CST and will be free to watch online as part of San Antonio Fiesta activities.
- Students from 10 college esports clubs across the Lone Star State will compete for scholarship prizes.
- Port San Antonio is building the nation’s largest dedicated esports arena to host similar events beginning in 2022.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – On June 19, starting at 11:00 a.m. CST, audiences across the nation will be able to tune in and watch the largest esports invitational tournament to date among Texas colleges. Fifty students representing 10 university clubs across the Lone Star State will face off in a daylong tournament of Super Smash Bros. – one of the world’s most popular multi-player video games.
The event will be broadcast live on multiple platforms, including at www.esportsfiesta.com and related social media and streaming channels, such as Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. The broadcast is free of charge and no registration or passcode is required.
The daylong tournament will feature play-by-play commentary from seasoned esports casters, post-game analysis and guest appearances by Smash Bros. enthusiasts. As the action unfolds, special guests will also include experts in advanced technologies that are driven by video gaming platforms, including aerospace, robotics and cybersecurity.
Port San Antonio, the Esports in Education Foundation (EIEF) and the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) are organizing the event and have enlisted the participation of 10 clubs in the San Antonio region and beyond organized by students from the following universities:
- University of Texas at San Antonio (Roadrunner Gaming)
- Texas A&M University-San Antonio (TAMUSA Esports)
- Trinity University (Trinity University Gaming)
- University of Texas at Austin (Longhorn Smash)
- Texas A&M University (Texas A&M Esports)
- University of Houston (UH Smash Club)
- Schreiner University (Schreiner Esports)
- Rice University (Rice Esports)
- University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley (Club Esports UTRGV)
- Lamar University (Cardinals Esports)
The Port is providing a $5,000 prize pool that will be shared among players from the winning teams. The monies will be distributed by SAMSAT to cover those students’ tuition expenses.
"Our team is really looking forward to representing not only our school, but also introducing the sport to people who might be watching for the very first time. That’s a big deal,” said UTSA student Cindy Nguyen, who is also vice president and game coach of the Roadrunner Gaming club. “It’s really exciting to be in the front lines of a phenomenon that is growing so quickly. And we’re really excited that, along with other teams across Texas, we’re being given a chance to help inspire the next generation of talent.”
UTSA student Cindy Nguyen is an avid video-gamer who also helps coach her fellow classmates. (Photo courtesy Cindy Nguyen)
“It’s great to see the tremendous support that our sport is being given,” said Isaiah McCants, who will be one of the casters providing play-by-play commentary and analysis. “It’s huge to be a part of the biggest tournament to date between students from ten Texas schools. And it really makes me proud that my hometown of San Antonio is really coming together to be a community for some serious esports talent development and competition.”
Students take part in an EIEF exhibition at Port San Antonio in the spring of 2019.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to bring together families from across Texas and beyond as they tune in to see some top performers and up-and-comers in the world of esports,” said Will Garrett, Vice President of Cybersecurity Development for Port San Antonio. “It’s going to be great fun to watch for those who are already fans. And it is also going to be an opportunity to introduce new audiences to an exciting competitive sport that is growing at a phenomenal rate. Just like other traditional sports, it’s an avenue for young people to develop teamwork, strategy and other skills that have direct application to succeed in their future careers.”
A watch party for a university tournament organized by EIEF in the fall of 2020. Photo credit: Dustin Vela/DVEL Photography.
“This is an exciting time to be part of esports. It’s great fun, and it also allows young people a new way to connect with one another in competition and a shared love for the game—whether it’s with teammates and other friends from school or with players across the country and around the world,” said Esports in Education Founder Sam Elizondo. “Our organization is focused on bridging that love of the game with practical applications in advanced industries, where students can directly use the skills acquired in gaming as part of their careers or as entrepreneurs.”
SAMSAT’s cybersecurity simulator exhibit – launched in early 2020. Many of the skills developed in esports translate directly to advanced technologies growing on the Port’s innovation campus and across San Antonio: teamwork, strategy, analytical thinking, coding and design.
“The upcoming tournament will be a great opportunity for our museum and our partners to bring together the community and introduce them to our work as a place that is fun, exciting and committed to connecting people from all walks of life with a world of opportunities,” said SAMSAT President and CEO Doug King. “Esports ties in directly with so many of the activities and learning experiences we provide—from cybersecurity to the development of computer programming. We look forward to a great turnout in June and, in the months and years that follow, to have a prominent place in the esports community.”
As it grows its 1,900-acre technology innovation campus, Port San Antonio’s commitment to the esports community is underscored by a $60-million facility that will launch in 2022 in partnership with SAMSAT.
The Tech Port Center + Arena will span 130,000 square feet to include a 2,500-seat venue that will be the nation’s largest purpose-built facility for esports tournaments. Integrated state-of-the-art technology will allow those games to be broadcast worldwide. The arena can also be reconfigured to host other entertainment activities, including concerts and technology competitions, such as in cybersecurity and robotics.
In addition to the gaming arena, the Tech Port Center + Arena will provide a new expanded home to SAMSAT, including spaces for new exhibits and activities focused around cybersecurity, coding and game design.
An adjacent food hall with an array of restaurant offerings and a 24-hour LAN gaming area will make the Tech Port Center and Arena a premiere destination for esports enthusiasts from across the nation and around the world.