On Saturday, October 1, Wilmington University (WilmU) hosted Futures First Gaming’s second annual Fall Brawl Esports event. Earlier this year, WilmU and FFG signed an academic partnership agreement that offers degree and certificate pathways for students interested in Esports and STEM-based programs.
Fall Brawl took place in the new Esports lab at WilmU’s Brandywine site. Ray “Phame” Hancock, arena host of the Philadelphia 76ers, joined the fun and helped host the event. Over 110 attendees of all ages and skill levels attended either in-person or virtually, with some players tuning in from Italy, Pakistan, and Nigeria. The Esports community came together to participate in non-stop tournament action featuring favorite titles like Fortnite, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and NBA 2K.
Two industry-related panels were held throughout the event: “Tech, Entrepreneurship, Gaming” and “Higher Learning: Gaming on a Collegiate Level, The New Age Degrees.” These panels featured company founders and CEOs of Esports brands including BeatBotics, Skillshot Media and Ghost Gaming, and EspatTV.
Besides competing in Esports tournaments and enjoying informative and interactive panels, attendees also had the opportunity to network with other gamers and learn more about WilmU’s degree programs, including the B.S. in Game Design and Development.
“[The Game Design & Development program] gives you a broad education of a lot of different pathways like design, 3D, 2D animation, and coding,” Michael Kulko explains. Kulko, who attended the event, is an administrative intern at FFG and a WilmU senior studying Game Design and Development. “As you progress through the program, you start to get a feel for what you’re passionate about. I’m most passionate about programming and coding. It’s difficult, but it’s so rewarding to see the result. There are so many pathways that you can take with [this degree]. [Choosing WilmU’s Game Design & Development program] was the best decision of my life.”
Fall Brawl is the second of many events that WilmU and FFG plan to co-host, and both organizations are eager to see what the future holds.
“The intersection of gaming and education was on full display at our Fall Brawl event,” says Stephen Sye, CEO of Futures First Gaming. “I am so thankful for WilmU’s commitment and partnership and proud of their newly unveiled Esports lab at Jack Varsalona Hall. Our competitors were able to game on top-end gaming PCs [Personal Computers] all while being on a university campus, and our viewers and online players also learned how high schools and colleges are developing Esports programs to attract and prepare tomorrow’s leaders. It was a leap forward in our partnership and a catalyst for educational transformation for Delaware and beyond.”
Malcolm Coley, FFG’s Chief Technology Officer, adds, “Our goal is to bring the Esports industry to Delaware in full force utilizing educational technology, media, and Esports events. Events like Fall Brawl in conjunction with Wilmington University helps us to achieve that.”
Our goal is to bring the Esports industry to Delaware in full force utilizing educational technology, media, and Esports events.” –Malcolm Coley
Lindsay Rice, WilmU’s Senior Director of Academic Partnerships, agrees. “I am grateful for our partnership with Futures First Gaming and expanding Esports to a growing community throughout the region,” Rice says. “I have now experienced both the Girls Who Game and Fall Brawl events, and the enthusiasm of the Esports community and the competitors has been amazing. I look forward to working with Futures First Gaming on future events, academic programming, and connecting the Esports community in Delaware and the surrounding region.”
To learn more about how WilmU works with Futures First Gaming, visit futuresfirstgaming.com/wilmu.