Los Angeles will serve as an esports hub with a wave of conferences and competitions scheduled throughout the summer for gamers of all ages to enjoy.


The Inven Global Esports Conference, a one-day event at UC Irvine, kicked off the summer festivities June 4 as fans listened to industry representatives discuss the future of gaming.


The “Trojan Horse for STEAM Education” panel went into detail on the impact esports has in local classrooms.


The North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) works with 83 schools in Southern California, including schools in Orange County and the Inland Empire, where students learn critical communication, collaboration, and problem-solving skills through video games.


NASEF partnered with the Orange County Department of Education to create a UC-approved esports curriculum providing participating high school clubs with access to tool kits on club management and how to create a club event.


“The idea is to allow students to make sense of what esports is as a group,” said Tom Turner, the OCDE Executive Director of Educational Services. “That is where we start and let students take the lead in doing something they are passionate about then apply it to the real world.


Whether it is competing, streaming or making fan art, we are giving them that opportunity and structure to do that.”


While gaming typically takes place in an isolated setting, Constance Steinkuehler, a UC Irvine professor of Informatics, believes having esports in the classroom can be beneficial and lead to more interaction and socializing between classmates.


“Esports is a great way for us to connect people back to school,” Steinkuehler said during the panel.


Steinkuehler mentioned the high school program’s role in teaching students how to deal with a competitive environment and opening the eyes of parents, through various gaming events, how their child is learning and engaging with others at school.


Students are given the opportunity to explore potential career options, which include event organizing, broadcasting and brand marketing.


Troy High School’s esports club in Fullerton has already produced a notable list of alumni with different levels of success in gaming.


“We have many Troy alumni that are involved in esports,” said Carlos Aldaco, Troy High School’s esports club general manager. “Justin Jia graduated from Troy last year and founded Youth Esports of America. He also works for Tespa at the age of 18.”


Jia is a program coordinator at Tespa, which operates collegiate esports leagues and campus support programs.


Eugene Park plays professionally as a mid lane for FlyQuest in the North American League of Legends Championship Series.


Kevin Royston won two Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championships with Cal Berkley, including one in 2018 after a 16-0 regular season and a victory over UCI in the finals.


Upcoming events


•  The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, is a trade event for the video game industry and will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11-13. Attendees include gamers, software developers and venture capitalists among others.


• Epic Games will host the Fortnite Summer Block Party at The Forum, June 15-16.


Fortnite is a free-to-play battle royale game where up to 100 players fight to be the last person standing.


WWE’s Xavier Woods will join gamers Aydan and Kayuun to form one of the eight teams of four competing for $1 million charity prize money. The fourth slot remains open for six teams that will go to lucky fans with a golden ticket. Two complete teams of four remain unannounced.


The celebrity pro-am will highlight the second day as 50 celebrities and 50 pro gamers pair-up to battle for a $3 million charity prize pool.


Popular gamer Ninja will team up with former Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch. Australian gamer Muselk will teammate up with former USC and Long Beach Poly football player Juju Smith-Schuster.


Josh Hart of the Los Angeles Lakers will team up with Tfue. Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers is paired with Canadian gamer Nick Eh 30.


You can purchase tickets here.


Overwatch League


The Los Angeles Valiant and the Los Angeles Gladiators split their respective games in Stage 3 Week 1 following the OWL All-Star break.


The Gladiators were shut out by the Dallas Fuel June 7 before suffering a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Titans. The Gladiators will look to bounce back against the Philadelphia Fusion at 9:15 p.m. Friday.


The Valiant made some significant roster changes between Stage 2 and 3, including the decision to part ways with Junhyeok “Bunny” Chae.


The Shanghai Dragons had already swept the Valiant after the first three maps to clinch the victory but couldn’t complete the shutout as the Valiant won Map 4 – Watchpoint: Gibraltar.


In a closely contested effort by the Chengdu Hunters, the Valiant bounced back to finish the week with a shutout victory. The Valiant will not return to the Blizzard Arena until Saturday against Guangzhou Charge at 5:15 p.m.


PUBG:




Tempo Storm recorded 12 eliminations to win the National PUBG League (NPL) Phase 2 finale and the $200,000 prize. The team entered the match in third place and eight points behind Ghost Gaming, who led all teams to start the game.


The Rumblers, SpaceStation Gaming and Cloud9 finished in the top five along with Tempo Storm and Ghost Gaming. These five teams will represent the NPL at the GLL Grand Slam to compete against the top teams from Latin America, Europe and Oceania in July.


Call of Duty in Anaheim:


Sixteen Call of Duty World League Pro League teams will compete for the Anaheim Cup in the last regular season event of the season at the Anaheim Convention Center June 14-16.


A three-day general admission entry pass could be purchased here.




NBA 2K League


Lakers Gaming, the esports organization owned by Los Angeles Lakers, will play the Raptors Uprising GC on June 13 at 3 p.m. PST in the first round of The Ticket Tournament in Florida at Full Sail University’s The Fortress, the largest gaming arena on a U.S. college campus.




LG is 20th of 21 teams with a 2-9 overall record in its inaugural season.


You can watch the game on the NBA 2k League Twitch stream.




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