A women-only event at the college’s Esports Arena will promote competitive video gaming.
SUNY Canton will be holding a Women in eSports, or WeSports, Open House from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, in the SUNY Canton Esports Arena in Nevaldine Hall South 133. The event is free and is exclusively offered to females of all ages.
“We hope to encourage women to take part in esports by showcasing our incredible facilities,” said Courtney B. Bish, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “The demographics for competitive gaming show a large discrepancy in participation between men and women. We are offering an opportunity for both serious women gamers and beginners to come and enjoy themselves in a welcoming atmosphere.”
SUNY Canton offers coed competition in eight games through the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC), with about a dozen female students currently participating in the program. The majority of those students will be attending the event to assist beginners, offer advice and play alongside guests.
Game Design and Development major Emily A. Oeser, the captain of the “Overwatch” team, has helped the college grow female participation in the program. She helped lead the team to an ECAC Championship title in 2018 and a second-place finish in 2019. Oeser also orchestrated the first recorded collegiate all-women’s Overwatch match against Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.
“It’s fantastic the college is providing time in our arena exclusively for women at an event hosted by women,” she said. “We’re looking forward to introducing others to the games we love and our state-of-the-art arena.”
Oeser will be joined by other female captains, including Kasey L. Palmer who plays “League of Legends”, and Madison E. Cragle who plays “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” Both students are enrolled in the college’s Veterinary Science Technology programs.
Guests will be able to play on one of the 25 dedicated Alienware Area 51 computers, on PlayStation Pro, Xbox 1X, or Nintendo Switch consoles. Funding for the program and its equipment was provided through a SUNY Performance Investment Fund grant designed to increase opportunities for online students.
“We’re also sending a special invitation to our female online students who may want to join us virtually,” said Molly A. Mott, associate provost and dean of academic support services. “We hope to reach an even wider group of students in support of our inclusivity mission, and we’d like to hold more WeSports events in the future. We’re looking forward to seeing community members, college staff and students, and high school and middle school students as well.”
Parking is available adjacent to Nevaldine Hall or in Lot 1. For more information, contact the Office of Public Relations at (315) 386-7526.
About SUNY Canton
SUNY Canton is Northern New York’s premier college for career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 18 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The college’s 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also offers varsity esports and cheerleading.