SMU Guildhall, the top ranked graduate school for video game design in the world, has entered a collaboration with an industry leader in esports to launch a major new event. OP Live Dallas will feature high-level professional competition, a 16-team collegiate tournament, a hackathon for high-schoolers, and a showcase for the work of Guildhall master’s degree candidates in interactive technology.
The Guildhall is collaborating with eGency Global, one of North America’s most experienced esports production, marketing and talent management firms, to produce OP Live Dallas.
“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort with eGency Global,” said Mark Nausha, deputy director of GameLab at SMU Guildhall. “OP Live will be interactive, immersive, and unique from typical esports events. We look forward to bringing this awesome fan experience to the Dallas area.”
OP Live Dallas will run September 22-23, 2018 on the 50,000-sq.-ft. main floor of the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.
Through their collaboration, eGency Global and SMU Guildhall will offer esports fans a unique and more robust experience than traditional esports events, the collaborators say. Beyond the interactive and engaging experience, OP Live Dallas will also showcase the multitude of career opportunities available to video game and esports devotees. SMU Guildhall alumni work for the biggest names in the video gaming industry, as well as in gamification sectors in a multitude of other industries like tech, education, business and medical.
“The session for parents will shine a light on career and education opportunities for youth in the video gaming, cybersecurity and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, as well as the many upsides of the gaming community. The community is known for its supportive nature and lasting friendships,” says Chris Stone, CEO of eGency Global.
The two-day OP Live Dallas schedule will include non-stop competition and activities, opportunities to meet popular pro players, cosplayers, and more. Highlights include:
- Competitions for 16 collegiate teams and 4 pro esports teams, with prizes to be awarded.
- Showcases featuring never-before-seen games created by SMU students and alumni.
- Mini TED-like talks with industry experts.
- Interactive and personalized experiences.
- Cosplay and game art gallery.
- High School Hackathon, where students compete to identify, defend and terminate cybersecurity threats in a fictional small business.
- Fundraising to benefit Children’s Medical Center Dallas through Extra Life, a division of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
The entire event was designed with esports and gaming fans in mind. “In the past year, we’ve spoken with dozens of fans who regularly attend esports and gaming events. We wanted to find out what they love most about the events and where improvements could be made. This insight was invaluable when we were planning OP Live Dallas,” said Stephanie Chavez, eGency Global director of marketing.
The collaborators estimate attendance of approximately 7,000 for the two-day event. Numerous sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities are available to organizations looking to reach fans in the burgeoning esports space.