Video game enthusiasts will have the opportunity for a unique experience on Saturday, June 22 at The Bridge Sports Complex.
The West Virginia University Esports program is partnering with The Bridge to present the first-ever Bridge Battle Royale, a youth Fortnite tournament for students in grades 6-12.
If having a presence with one of the most popular video game franchises wasn’t enough. How about two of the most post popular? Students will also be able to play EA Sports Madden NFL 24 and WVU Esports player Noah Johnson will be in attendance to offer training sessions, tips and concepts with Madden.
Esports programs are one of the most rapidly growing and popular programs at colleges and universities throughout the country and WVU has been at the forefront of that growth.
“This is a new venture for us to be able to go to different locations and bring our products to those locations,” WVU Esports director and varsity head coach Josh Steger said. “Primarily we just do things online or we host things at WVU. This is an exciting venture for us.
“Hopefully things go well and we build off this. The plan would be to take this to different locations in West Virginia and maybe Pennsylvania as well.
“It’s about spreading awareness to the parents, letting them know this is something your kids can do in the future and they can start now and potentially get a scholarship one day or if it’s not a scholarship, maybe they figure out they want to work in this industry some day and be able to find the skills necessary.”
Steger said the doors will open at The Citynet Center at The Bridge around 8 a.m. on June 22. The Fortnite tournament will start at 9 a.m. Registration for the Bridge Battle Royal is $50 and champions will be crowned in solo, duo and trios competition.
Registration form can be found HERE
Johnson’s inclusion on the Madden front is noteworthy because he just doesn’t play the football game, he’s one of the best in the country at it.
“Noah was actually my first recruit. He is a collegiate national champion,” Steger said of Johnson. “He’s never not been in a national competition when it comes to collegiate Madden but he’s also on the professional scene where he is a two-time national champion. He’s one of the best in the country. He’s formerly ranked No. 1 in both college and professionally. He’s money.”
Steger is hopeful the event is the first of several at The Bridge. In fact, plans are in the works for having an event in conjunction with the NFL Flag Football League at The Bridge once the new college football game comes out.
“(The Bridge) They understand that kids around West Virginia are interested in Esports but don’t really have the means to put on something like this themselves. When it comes to these kind of events, you need permission from the publisher. You need to make sure you have the equipment. One of our goals is to make this an annual event at The Bridge.”
Editor’s Note: Submitted graphic and submitted photo of Noah Johnson.