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A&M-San Antonio esports team to host, compete in first regional valorant tournament

A&M-San Antonio esports team to host, compete in first regional valorant tournament - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Texas A&M University-San Antonio Esports Overwatch varsity team prepare for their matchup against Wichita State University and Rowan University Esports Overwatch varsity team in a best of 5 rounds on Feb. 27, 2024 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio Recreation Game Room. The following day, A&M-San Antonio's Esports Valorant varsity team defeated Purdue University Fort Wayne esports Valorant varsity team 2-0 in a best of 3 rounds on Feb. 28. Photo by Jaz Ortiz

The Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s esports team is hosting and competing in a first-person shooter game Valorant tournament against seven other schools: Oklahoma Christian University, The University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston-Downtown, Texas A&M International University, and Northwest Vista College and two other schools that have yet to be determined. The tournament takes place 1 p.m. March 15 at the Boeing Center at Tech Port.

Varsity esports teams and those in the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), which is a non-profit organization that A&M-San Antonio esports is a part of, were invited to the tournament. Sign-ups only recently opened up for all varsity esports programs, and the collegiate invitational prioritized programs in the NACE.

“These are mostly colleges that we’ve interacted with before regardless outside of NACE,” said Hope Trinidad, a Valorant team member and the A&M-San Antonio esports marketing lead. “Even the colleges within NACE — we’ve interacted with before at least once.”

Trinidad said the A&M-San Antonio esports multimedia team is helping with content creation and sharing live updates from the tournament through social media.

“We have a bunch of people doing photography — we have graphic designers that are going to be updating graphics during the event itself. That way, we have them already prepped and we’re going to send them out as soon as things change, like the bracket system” Trinidad said “If one team won, then we’ll go up on the bracket for our social media posts.”

In a bracket system teams are put into groups in a tree diagram that are put in competition with each team until there’s one team left standing.

Those interested can also expect a livestream of the game with commentary, Trinidad said.

“These are all A&M-San Antonio students with the help of some Tech Port employees, who were mostly former members of A&M-San Antonio,” Trinidad said of the multimedia team, whose members are helping with videography, editing, production, live streaming, casting and commentating over the game. 

Creating an opportunity for NACE member schools to compete in person is important to the A&M-San Antonio program.

Aaron Jaggers, head coach for the A&M-San Antonio esports team, said the NACE doesn’t usually participate in in-person regional events. 

“They usually do in-person events for the finals and the finals only, but I think there’s more opportunities to make things happen in a regional way,”Jaggers said.

Jaggers hopes his team develops traditional rivalries against other schools and creates connections with other esports teams by hosting the invitational. He also believes he can replicate this kind of “high-quality” event in the future, especially since the A&M-San Antonio esports team is partnering with groups like the NACE and Tech Port.

“We compete online every day of the week with schools all over the country but to make that face-to-face connection is rare, especially post pandemic,” Jaggers said.

In preparation for the tournament, the esports team has been successfully reaching out to other teams to find additional sponsors for a scholarship prize pool raffle and giveaways. These sponsors include: the Army National Guard, Boeing Center at Tech Port, X-Ray Pad, Be Quiet and NACE. 

The esports multimedia team is also getting used to their livestream and content creation softwares by practicing how to appear on camera and give good commentary. 

Frequent practices for the tournament have also been in effect.

“We would practice once a week and then play the game for that week, and now we’re upping our practices,” said Abram Raines, computer and information systems sophomore and Valorant team member. “For me, personally, I’ve just been playing the game more and looking at how pro-players play the game and see if we can take anything from there and make it work at our level.”

This story was update on Tuesday, March 12 at 12:55 p.m. to update the photo cutline with additional information.

About the Author

Victoria Arredondo
Assistant Editor
Victoria Arredondo is a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio majoring in English and communications and minoring in psychology. Victoria received her associate degree from Palo Alto College along with her high school diploma in 2018 from Frank L. Madla Early College High School. In her downtime, Victoria enjoys reading, writing poetry and short stories, watching horror movies and spending time with friends. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in journalism.

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