The Victors Took the Emerald Stage at Houston’s Comicpalooza!
By Sheryl E. Taylor
UHD’s award-winning eSports team was recently invited to participate in a panel presentation on the Emerald Stage for Comicpalooza at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The panel, “We Don’t Play Games! eSports in Education & Engagement through Video Games,” discussed how to form eSports clubs at high school and middle schools while addressing the misconceptions that eSports is only for people to spend time together just to play video games. The panel also shared that eSports is highly competitive and teaches these students valuable skills, such as problem-solving, leadership, team work, and game theory as well as scholarship opportunities, prize pool earnings at the collegiate level, and a variety of career pathways.
The following team members participated:
- Roger Martinez
- Joseph Basaldua
- Omar Monita
- Miguel Carrera-Castillo
- Liz Treviño
- Sibel Emekli
- Richard Rodriguez
- Jose Vazquez
“We were excited to participate as the only eSports program selected to host a panel presentation,” said Jose Vazquez, Associate Director of Student Activities. “This further elevates the work we are doing by showcasing our nationally award-winning program and allows us to establish a partnership with a very successful convention in this part of the country.”
This spring semester, the UHD team achieved national championship status—winning the national division in Overwatch and Rocket League—defeating colleges from all across the U.S., including “Power Five” schools. Both teams were also national runner-ups in both Rocket League and FIFA. UHD eSports is a collegiate program that participated in the National eSports Collegiate Conference and GGLeagues, the premiere platform for recreational gaming.
Next up for the eSports Champs is a panel discussion for the HGX Houston Gaming Expo July 15 – 16 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.
U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.