Esports has almost seamlessly incorporated itself into the sports world. Typically known to dominate in sports like basketball and football, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been catching on. For example, Johnson C. Smith University will be facilitating a significant virtual Esports conference this February to coincide with the Super Bowl! Get the full scoop in the story from The Esports Observer below.
Super Bowl weekend will take on a different meaning for some as Johnson C. Smith University has partnered with MetArena, a St. Petersburg-based technology company, to co-produce “the first-ever virtual HBCU Esports Conference and Career Expo to be hosted in a blockchain ecosystem.”
The 2021 ASCEND HBCU Esports Conference and Career Expo will see the HBCU’s students help run the event including planning, organization, and execution phases, including their role in moderating panel sessions, introducing speakers, and managing an HBCU Madden NFL Tournament.
The conference is sponsored by CodeBoxx and will take place online Feb. 5 from 9 a.m.- 3:30 p.m., two days before the 2021 NFL Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida.
The conference will include speakers from both non-profits and corporations within the esports and gaming ecosystem, including multi-media personality, host, and producer, Erin Ashley Simon; Polycade CEO Tyler Bushnell; Riot Games’ Alex Francois; Nacon Gaming Vice President Corey Rosemond; Sugar Gamers Founder and CEO Keisha Howard; and Marcus Kennedy, a senior director of Intel’s Esports and Gaming Segment.
Additionally, the event will feature a pitch competition for esports and gaming entrepreneurs, with judges such as serial entrepreneur and investor, Steve MacDonald and tech revolutionary Angel Rich, founder of the Wealth Factory, a start-up that designs and builds financial literacy and workforce development games.
While the focus of the 2021 ASCEND HBCU Esports Conference and Career Expo is to “enable HBCU students, faculty, staff, and constituents from across the nation to ASCEND (Accessing Sources to Catalyze Esports/Gaming Needs & Address Diversity) by providing them with opportunities to gain insight into the esports and gaming industries through their interaction with industry executives,” all are welcome and invited to attend. The Latinx community is also a focus of the conference and expo as they represent a significant percentage of students enrolled at HBCUs.
In support of the conference and expo, GAME Credits will host this event in Decentraland, a virtual world where users can purchase, sell, and develop land inside a virtual environment.