Northwest State Community College hosted Game Con 2019 on December 7, welcoming over 250 people to the Archbold campus. Game Con, a creation of the NSCC visual communication graphic design program, consisted of retro gaming consoles (from the Atari to modern platforms), a Lego build station, and card & board games. The highlight of the Game Con event was the Super Smash Bros. (aka “Smash”) tournament, which boasted a field of over 70 competitors. Kameron East of Twinsburg, Ohio, approximately 170 miles from NSCC , was the tournament winner.
According to a recent article on Forbes.com, Goldman Sachs analysts estimate, “the monthly size of competitive esports gamers…will hit 276 million by 2022.” The article continues by noting, “the North American region will have generated $335 million in industry revenue, and will account for over a third of global esports revenue.” Northwest Ohio is definitely on board with this trend, as local high schools and colleges have esports teams that compete on a regional and national level.
Prior to the Game Con event on Saturday, a breakfast meeting was held on campus with local school-affiliated esports clubs and school administrators. During the breakfast, it was announced that NSCC will begin offering a gaming club in the spring 2020 semester. The game club will incorporate esports, plus board and card games, and potentially other activities within the “gaming” genre.
As part of the breakfast, NSCC President Dr. Michael Thomson announced that six Presidential Scholarships will be awarded to esports participants in an effort to build up the College’s esports team. The NSCC Presidential Scholarship is a full-tuition, renewable scholarship which covers tuition for three consecutive years, including fall, spring and summer semesters.
“Northwest State is very aware of the growing popularity of esports in our area and across the United States,” said Dr. Thomson. He continued, “We are proud to offer Presidential Scholarships to six deserving students to help build our esports team – these students excel in the classroom, and they will represent NSCC admirably in the gaming community as well.”