Video gaming has always been a fiercely competitive pastime.
Those who are old enough surely remember hunkering down into a game after school and bickering with their siblings over the Atari joystick for a crack at Pitfall! or Frogger.
(For those who are too young to have relished in the joy of the successful virtual amphibious hop across two lanes of rushing traffic––we’re sorry.)
These days, it’s possible to compete in video games professionally, not just with siblings and best friends. Online video gaming leagues have been around for a while, but Midwest eSports is bringing all the action live to tournaments around the country, in a big way.
Ramsey Jamoul is company founder and CEO of Midwest eSports. He was raised in Wichita and attended Wichita State University where he earned a degree in computer science. The Wichita-based startup hosted the first eSports Wichita eSports Convention in 2015.
Midwest eSports is growing and provides competition for collegiate and amateur video-gamers in a sports-like atmosphere on stage, for spectators and the community. Gamers can showcase their competitive edge and vie for cash prizes.
“We began as a team playing in an online video game league, and then hosted our own physical tournament at the first Wichita eSports Convention in 2015. We began to host our own events and found them taking off more than anything online. We’re building a whole ecosystem for esports in the Midwest,” said Jamoul.
Midwest eSports runs esports tournaments and events. It collaborates with the National Association of Collegiate eSports (NACE) based in Kansas City. NACE is the umbrella non-profit association for collegiate esports programs nationwide that awards scholarships to esports athletes.
There are thousands of collegiate teams that play online, and over 130 different varsity programs affiliated with NACE. Midwest eSports also partners with the High School eSports League which is a network with over 1,500 high schools playing regularly online.
Midwest eSports hosted the League of Legends tournament at the 20th anniversary of Planet Comicon Kansas City at the end of March which had over 50,000 in attendance. The tournament attracted teams from all over the country and gave them a platform to grow a fanbase.
In fact, League of Legends made by Riot Games is one of the most popular games in esports. Their World Championships tournament is second only to the Superbowl in viewership, according to Jamoul.
Midwest eSports started out as a club and eventually grew to become a business. Jamoul brought on advisor Kevin Regan who has 30 years of experience in event management. The company is a team of nine and growing. “We planned for 10 events last year but ran 18. We have 45 events with 6-12 tournaments at each scheduled for 2019,” said Jamoul.
Midwest eSports hosted 28 events in collaboration with its partners, attracting over 130,000 attendees within the last year. “Our current 2019 sponsors are NetApp, High Touch Technologies, N3rd St Gamers, and Koch Industries,” said Jamoul.
Jamoul shared that Midwest eSports initially gained its footing at the LaunchPrep program at Wichita State and e2e. Jamoul is a 2019 Pipeline fellow.
Upcoming tournaments include:
Nebraska Esports – Gaming Festival April 27 – April 28, 2019
Project: PopCON May 31 – June 2, 2019
Sponsors, vendors, and volunteers can get involved with tournaments, and groups looking to partner with Midwest eSports to host events can visit www.midwestesports.com to contact Midwest eSports and learn more about this company.
Click below to see Midwest eSports at Planet Comicon Kansas City.