Next month, 16 Pa. colleges will compete in a varsity esports championship - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 12, 2019 4:00 pm

Next month, 16 Pa. colleges will compete in a varsity esports championship

Harrisburg University, which has a satellite campus in Philly, is launching the PA Cup — a collegiate tournament to remind you that esports are real.

Harrisburg University has its own esports team, the HU Storm.

(Courtesy photo)

With its upcoming PA Cup, Harrisburg University is trying to remind you that esports are real.

During the weekend of March 30 to 31, 16 varsity and club collegiate teams from across Pennsylvania will compete online in matches in League of Legends, Overwatch and Hearthstone matches for the title of PA Cup Champion.

On day two of the tournament, fans will gather at Harrisburg U’s Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg to watch the final matches from the home arena of HU Storm, the university’s varsity esports team where fans can gather to watch the finals and cheer on their team.

“Pennsylvania has a rich tradition in championship titles, including the World Series, the Super Bowl and multiple NCAA championships,” said Chad Smeltz, director of Esports at Harrisburg University. “The PA Cup puts this extremely popular, growing sport right into the mix. There is an undeniable demand for college esports to offer tournaments that are on par with those of traditional sports and HU is all in on offering those experiences.”

Harrisburg University, which has a campus in Center City, has been angling to brand itself as an esports hub in Central Pennsylvania — and has been making the investments to prove it. At the end of last year it opened a new practice facility for HU Storm, its varsity esports team. The spot features professional-grade gaming computers, 24-inch monitors and ergonomic gaming chairs.

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All told, the university’s campus boast of 174,000 square feet of space for esports competitions, practices and live gameplay spaces.

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