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Game on! VU E-Sports Trailblazers launch program with victory

VINCENNES, Ind. – It is game on for the Vincennes University E-Sports Trailblazers! They kicked off their inaugural season with a historic win in this exciting new sport on campus.

The E-Sports Trailblazers won Round 1 of the first game in the NJCAA Esports (NJCAAe) main season for Fall 2020. VU gamer Jaden Pfoff earned a victory in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate against Snow College (Utah). She dominated the competition with a 7-0 win on Tuesday.

“I am very proud of our VU students who excel academically and in competitive esports,” VU E-Sports Head Coach and Information Technology Professor Newton Lee said. “Our phenomenal first win scored by my game design student Jaden Pfoff energizes our team even more as we are heading towards the Fall 2020 NJCAAe tournaments. It’s not just winning that I care about. It's also about sportsmanship and team building among VU students.”

The victory marks an outstanding start to VU’s esports program, which offers competitive, organized, multiplayer online gaming experiences. VU is a member of NJCAA Esports, the only national esports association exclusively for two-year colleges.

Esports is the world’s fastest-growing sport. College esports programs are also on the rise. 

VU students are actively engaging with other students and enjoying gaming together. The E-Sports Trailblazers will continue competing throughout the fall and spring semesters in many different games, including Overwatch, Call of Duty, Valorant, Rocket League.

The pandemic is taking esports to the next level and connecting college students with students all over the country. Gamers can play anywhere and are taking part in a community that shares the same interests.

The state-of-the-art Holodome Gaming Student Arcade located on the Vincennes campus in the Wathen Business Building is where the Trailblazers showcase their gaming skills and talent. The suite is filled with virtual reality pods, gaming PCs, an arcade station, and more. The Fall 2020 registration period for the E-Sports Trailblazers is currently closed. Applications for Spring 2021 will begin being accepted in November.

The Trailblazers are coached by a gaming expert. Lee developed more than 100 video games as a senior producer and lead engineer for the Walt Disney Company, including the popular playtesting and installation of Toontown Online. Toontown, which launched in 2003, was a groundbreaking multiplayer game that enjoyed a worldwide fan base for over a decade.

“It has been fascinating to observe our student esports athletes practice and prepare for competition. The level of commitment and dedication for esports mirrors that of any other sport. I am really excited to have esports as a part of the Vincennes University Athletics program. Putting this program together here at VU has been a team effort and I am thrilled to be a part of it and cheer the team on. Go Trailblazers!” Information Technology Department Chair Jaci Lederman said.

Gaming is not only popular. It is also a multibillion-dollar industry. Reports are showing that now, more than ever, video games are being played at record levels due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

VU offers a Programming and Game Development Degree that provides students with a unique opportunity. Students get hands-on experience. They learn how to design and develop video games on multiple platforms as well as how to publish and market software applications.

To learn more about VU’s E-Sports Trailblazers: https://www.vinu.edu/e-sports

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Play4Kay

The Vincennes University Athletic Department hosts Play4Kay and raises donations for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund annually. VU Women’s Basketball Coach and Athletic Director Harry Meeks has a special connection to the late Yow, who was the longtime coach at North Carolina State. He had the pleasure of meeting her while he was an assistant coach at Western Carolina University. This left a lasting impression on him and made this cause important to him and the Trailblazers.

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