America East to Host Inaugural Esports Invitational at UAlbany

UAlbany eSports head coach Michael Leczinsky (left) stands with members of his team, President Rodríguez and America East Conference Commissioner Amy Huchthausen at last week's press conference. (Photo by Brian Busher)

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 10, 2020) – Following the successful launch of UAlbany’s eSports team last semester, the America East Conference announced last week that it will host its first competitive video-gaming invitational on campus next month.

The conference’s inaugural Esports Invitational, a venture of the America East Academic Consortium, will take place on Saturday, April 18 at 1 p.m. inside the new 400-seat auditorium at the Campus Center West addition.

The invitational will feature five-player teams from each of the nine America East member institutions competing against each other in a single-elimination SuperSmash Bros. Ultimate tournament. Teams will compete for a championship trophy as well as other prizes. The event will be streamed live on Twitch.TV. Tickets for the event are available at: www.bit.ly/AEesports.

Photo of America East podium at Esports Invitational press conference.
The America East’s inaugural Esports Invitational will take place on Saturday, April 18 at UAlbany. (Photo by Brian Busher)

“UAlbany is proud to be a pioneer in collegiate eSports and host the America East Conference’s first competitive video-gaming invitational next month,” said President Havidán Rodríguez. “The eSports industry is opening up new doors to career paths in gaming-related disciplines such as augmented reality and game design and development. This is truly a new and exciting opportunity, and we are ready to play an important role in its growth, alongside the America East and other conference teams.”

UAlbany unveiled a state-of-the-art eSports gaming arena on campus in November. The space is equipped with a dozen high-performance Alienware Computers, each lit in Great Danes purple and gold, along with six Nintendo Switch consoles.

Last fall, 175 students applied to join UAlbany’s eSports team in the course of just two weeks; 75 players were recruited from the pool. This semester, the team has grown to 100 co-ed students, from an applicant pool of more than 340.

You can learn more about the team here.

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